Consumers Adding More Lamb to Home Dinner Menus

Consumers are adding more lamb to their home-cooked dinner menu according to the 11th annual Power of Meat survey released by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the North American Meat Institute (NAMI). The report was prepared by 210 Analytics in partnership with the Cryovac Brand, a part of Sealed Air’s Food Care Division.

The study offers a 2016 shoppers-eye view of meat purchasing, preparation and consumption trends.

While meat and poultry continue to be mainstays of America’s home-cooked menus 3.7 times per week, shoppers are adding more variety by increasing purchases of lamb and pork, the report shows. “This trend is reflected in our 2017 sales,” says Tony Catelli, CEO of Catelli Brothers, one of the nation’s largest purveyors of lamb and veal. “We have seen an uptick in lamb sales,” Catelli says.

In addition to seeking variety in meals prepared at home, shoppers are looking for ways to save on their grocery bills. Promotions are increasingly important to U.S. consumers with 78 percent of shoppers checking promotions at their favorite stores; more and more using digital and mobile research rather than paper circulars. The most popular promotion among consumers is cents-off the price per pound.

Price per pound and total package price rule meat purchase decisions. While most shoppers base their meat purchases primarily on total package price, among Millennials choices are made according to total package price, which is why you are seeing more variety in meat package sizes. The Report also indicates that Millennials also want food preparation information, especially about time and ease.

While doing a fair amount of pre-shopping planning, America’s consumers rarely know what’s for dinner until the last minute. According to the report, “Forty percent of shoppers only ‘occasionally’ or ‘hardly ever’ know what is for dinner two hours from mealtime.

But, when America shops for food, the meat case is the in-store magnet. The Power of Meat report indicates, “Shoppers select 70 percent of purchases from the meat case, with 97 percent using the case for at least some purchases.”

The study also shows, “Shoppers’ trust in the quality of case-ready meat is ever-rising, with 83 percent believing the quality is as good or better than meat cut and packaged in the store.”

Catelli Brothers has been an industry leader in providing customized, pre-packaged and pre-priced meats to the supermarket industry. “We have been customizing cuts and packaging of veal and lamb, as well as specialty products, for more than 15 years,” Catelli points out. “There are fewer and fewer professional butchers in retail stores, and we can cut and package more cost-effectively, which saves money at point of sale,” he says.