Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 9

Y
ear One of the Pandemic Era, 2020, proved to be a fantastic
one for grocery retail sales of fresh meat.
No surprise: people weren't going to restaurants and they were
leaning on comfort foods and staples to keep them and their families
fed. The sight of empty meat shelves is now one of the lasting images of
the early months of COVID.
Surely 2021 couldn't top 2020, right? Wrong, said Rick Stein, vice
president of fresh for Arlington, Va.-based FMI - the Food Industry
Association. Through September, meat sales were up 11% over the same
time the year before.
Yes, some of that could be traced in inflation. But not all of it - Stein
guessed about 5%. That means real sales gains of 6% over a year which
shattered the numbers of the year before it. Many consumers who
ramped up their retail fresh meat purchases in 2020 decided that it was
a sustainable model going forward, pandemic or no pandemic.
" The story for meat is very positive, " Stein said. " There's the enjoyment
of eating at home with your family, and the cost savings - as expensive
as it is, it's not even close to foodservice. "
Before the pandemic, Stein said, the term " center of the plate " was
losing favor when it came to describing meat's role in consumers' diets.
The pandemic changed that in a hurry. " Center of the plate " is back with
a vengeance.
Meat was always the top performer in perimeter sales, but in recent
years product has started to get closer. But during COVID, and seemingly
going forward, meat has reasserted itself as the clear top dog, Stein said.
But that doesn't mean that customers are now all about comfort and
don't care about health, he added. Many Americans who are eating meat
more often than they used to are eating smaller cuts.
" With portion control, they no longer see meat as an enemy, " he
said. " They've learned to incorporate the right types of protein. It's not
black-and-white, it's on a scale, and they can make a choice to choose
something better for them. They're conscious of health but they're still
partaking in the category. "
Clean-label, grass-fed, organic and " all-natural " are other healthrelated
meat categories where FMI is tracking steady growth. Products
with claims, Stein said, are outperforming the meat case as a whole.
More time to cook, more meats to try
Consumers have also significantly expanded their palates, thanks to all
that extra time spent cooking at home.
" The variety of meats being bought has really expanded - veal, lamb,
different cuts of beef, " Stein said. " You used to have most of your sales
in the middle meats - rib eyes, sirloins, strips. Now you're seeing other
cuts, and things like fajita mixes, and grounds. There's huge growth in
grounds, and not just beef. "
After breaking all records in 2020, most meat industry experts
thought those numbers would never be topped, said Anne-Marie
Roerink, president of San Antonio-based 210 Analytics.
" And yet, here we are, " she said. " While there was no way sales were
going to beat the March peaks that jumped to +90% two weeks in a row,
it didn't take long for 2021 to rebound to close to 2020 levels. "
Like Stein, Roerink is quick to point out the role inflation has played.
Still, the " overarching story, " she said, is the continued strength in
sales. Both dollars and volume are still trending ahead of the 2019
Now trending
Another story line to keep an eye on in
2022 is the interest in smaller proteins,
including lamb and niche meats such as
bison and venison. Several had record
2020 sales with continued year-on-year
growth in 2021. In addition, grinds are
producing a tremendous percentage of
total sales across all retail channels.
supermarketperimeter.com
JANUARY 2022 - 9
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Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022

Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - kevins1
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - kevins2
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 9
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 11
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 12
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 13
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 14
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 15
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 16
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 17
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 18
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 19
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 20
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 21
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Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 28
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 29
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 30
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 31
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Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 33
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 34
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 35
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 36
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 37
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Supermarket Perimeter - January 2022 - 76
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https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_09_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_08_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_07_01
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https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_05_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_04_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_03_01
https://digital.supermarketperimeter.com/sosland/sp/2019_02_01
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