Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 39

think much differently than their parents and grandparents, and they are an enormous consumer group that
soon will have an ever-larger impact on the food world.
Plant-based dollar sales rose 12% in 2019, and the
number of stores selling plant-based increased by 21%.
And it's not just the hard-core plant-only devotees
that are a threat. Roerink said she's most concerned
about flexitarians - people who still eat meat but mix in
a significant amount of vegetarian options - a category
that now accounts for 12% of all consumers, up from
10% the year before.
"Everything about American food culture is changing,"
Roerink said. "Very shortly, we're going to see a big shift
from boomers to Gen X and millennials."
A much larger percentage of millennials, for instance,
think that the meat industry is bad for the environment.
Large numbers also believe that plant-based is a better
alternative when it comes to health and concerns related
to animal welfare.
The result is that, while plant-based is still just a
tiny fraction the size of the meat industry, it's growing quickly, and meat must fight back to maintain its
strength, Roerink said.

Plant-based
dollar sales
rose 12% in
2019, and the
number of
stores selling
plant-based
increased
by 21%.

Focus on taste

ERICA SHAFFER/SOSLAND PUBLISHING CO., VERDE, RAISED & ROOTED

One way to do that is by going back to the basic reason
people buy one food instead of another: taste. Just 25%
of consumers say they buy plant-based because they
like the taste.

Meat has the highest sales per labor hour and continues to grow.

Products made with both meat and plant products are set for huge growth.
supermarketperimeter.com

SP_Apr20.indb 39

"That's a huge opportunity for the meat industry,"
Roerink said.
There is also a "if you can't beat them, join them"
approach that will likely become more popular in coming years. Namely, the growth of the blended category
- protein products made with a combination of meat
and non-meat products.
Forty-one percent of Americans think blended adds
more flavor, said Roerink, who called blended an effective "bridge" category for consumers who have concerns about meat but aren't willing to give it up entirely.
Boosting value-added offerings is another way for
meat producers and marketers to lure back consumers
who may have strayed into plant-based territory.
Almost three in four Americans say they love 1- and
2-person meat options at retail, for instance. Valueadded meat sales grew 3.9% in 2019.
The best way to take away what Roerink refers to as
consumer "guilt" over buying meat? Transparency.
"We need to make sure we're explaining our raising processes extremely well," she said. That includes
companies calling out their environmental and animal
welfare practices clearly on labels.
And it's not always enough to use science to fight
guilt, fear and emotion that clouds consumers' attitudes
about the industry, Roerink said.
"We need to bring our own passion back to the table.
If we do, we have the opportunity to do this for many,
many more years."

APRIL 2020 - 39

4/1/2020 4:56:14 PM


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Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020

Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 6
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