Retailers continue to look for ways to provide consumers ease and convenience at the meatcase. The growth of value-added fresh meat items adds to that interest.

Recent FreshLook data shows value-added product sales represent 7.2 percent of the total meatcase sales, up a half a percentage point from 2005. This includes ready-to-cook seasoned/marinated raw products at 2.9 percent of meatcase sales; prepared dinner entrees at 2.4 percent; specialty cuts, such as kabobs, stir fry and stew meat, at 1.6 percent; and ready-to-heat products at 0.3 percent of total meatcase sales.

Within valued-added products, “dinner entrees” is the fastest growing segment up 9 percent in dollar sales during the first half of 2006 vs. year ago sales followed by ready-to-heat, up 5 percent, and ready-to-cook, up 2 percent. 

Looking at species-specific trends during this same time period, chicken and pork products have shown the greatest increase in value-added dollar sales up 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Beef value-added sales have remained fairly flat during the first half of 2006. Top selling pork items include dinner entrees, marinated/seasoned loin and tenderloin products, stuffed chops and ready-to-heat loin products. 

For more information on value-added products, contact Karen Boillot, director of retail marketing for the National Pork Board, at (515) 223-2787; or at

National Pork Board