Supermarket Perimeter - March 2021 - rmt - 3

ON

Moving

Lessons from the pandemic -and what lies ahead -from an industry leader
by Andy Nelson

2021

DRAZEN - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

0:37:49 AM

Retail trends

promises to be an interesting year for the
retail meat industry, said Chris Oliviero,
general manager of Northglenn, Colo.-based Niman
Ranch - almost like, he said, " a tale of two years rolled
into one. "
The first quarter or maybe even half of the year will
likely closely mirror the last nine months of 2020, he
said. With people cooped up at home and worried about
their health and in many cases livelihood, comfort foods
came to the fore last year, and that trend will continue
well into the new year.
One thing that started to change in late 2020 and
will only accelerate in 2021, Oliviero added, is people
getting tired of cooking at home. But because the virus
is still with us, they'll have to keep doing so for some
time yet. That creates opportunities for retailers and
meat producers to provide solutions that take some of
that fatigue out of the equation.
" Things like marinades or spices, anything that can
add newness to whatever's being served, and that takes
an extra step out of the process, I think that's going to
accelerate, " he said. " People have spent nine months at
home. Maybe they got out a bit in late summer, early

fall, and now they're back inside. The quest for ease and
convenience will really accelerate. "
Another trend to keep a close eye on in 2021, Oliviero
said, is breakfast.
" Breakfast has certainly gotten an upgrade, and
we expect that to continue, " he said. " Bacon, breakfast sausage, Canadian bacon are in a lot more homecooked meals. "
When it comes to deli meats, COVID will likely have
a permanent effect on the category, Oliviero said. Look
for a lot more product sold pre-packaged, due to consumers' concerns with foods being handled by a clerk
using common serving utensils.
" I think it's a trend that's here to stay, and it's a benefit for purveyors and store owners, because it reduces
the time in stores, " he said.
It typically takes three times for a certain behavior to
become ingrained in consumers, Oliviero said. COVID
has provided way more than three times, and many
consumers have now made the permanent switch to
pre-packaged as a result.
In the natural meats segment that Niman specializes in, the rise in pre-packed deli meat has been
supermarketperimeter.com

Meat_SP_0321.indb 3

The retail meat industry
has been a huge boon for
homebound consumers
during the pandemic. Moving
forward, suppliers and their
retail partners will have to
adjust to a world that was
already changing rapidly even
before COVID.

retail MEAT TRENDS

3

3/1/2021 12:46:39 PM


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Supermarket Perimeter - March 2021

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