Pork had the largest “enhanced product” representation in the meat case last year, with 45 percent of its packages in that category. Of those, 10 percent were value-added. Tenderloins (62 percent) and roasts (61 percent) were the most likely pork products to be enhanced, according to the 2004 National Meat Case Study.
The study defined enhanced products as having moisture added, value-added could be flavored (marinated) and/or contain additional ingredients.
Comparatively, 23 percent of chicken products were enhanced, followed by whole-muscle beef at 16 percent.
When it comes to “natural,” 22 percent of all meat packages carried that claim. Chicken lead the pack, followed by turkey, veal and pork.
The findings reflect retailers’ different approaches to merchandising meat and offering consumers products that they demand.