When today’s grocery shoppers navigate the fresh meat case, they are faced with many options. To determine what products retailers across the country are merchandising and how these items have changed, the National Pork Board went to the source with the 2007 National Meat Case Study.

“This is a tremendous undertaking,” says John Green, NPB’s director of strategic marketing. “While the meat case study involves a massive amount of data, a thorough analysis helps us re-evaluate and adapt to meet the challenges and opportunities available for pork.”

The 2007 National Meat Case Study audited 121 supermarkets and 10 club stores in 48 metro markets across 34 states. Details from more than 157,000 packages representing more than 281,000 pounds of meat was collected to review the transformation of the retail meat case during the last five years.

The study, which was sponsored by NPB, the Beef Checkoff and Sealed Air’s Cryovac Food Packaging, was benchmarked against the same study conducted in 2004 and in 2002 to review national retail trends. 

Among the findings, in 2007 value-added packages continued to grow. They climbed 4 percentage points to make up 10 percent of the total fresh meat packages. (Value-added products are defined as having flavorings or ingredients added, such as seasonings, marinades, stuffed and specialty items like cordon bleu.)

Growth in value-added packages was driven by fresh pork (up 11 percentage points to 23 percent of all fresh pork packages), turkey (up 5 percentage points to 19 percent of all turkey packages) and beef (up 3 percentage points to 7 percent of all beef packages).

“Since value-added products are prevalent in the market, we’re looking at volume, pounds sold and total revenue to determine the difference between 2007 and 2004,” Green says. For more, go to NPB’s Web site at www.pork.org.