There’s more to the meatcase than pork chops and ribs. Now, sausage and ham have staked out their spots among the fresh offerings.

According to the 2004 National Meat Case Study, 95 percent of supermarkets surveyed now include sausage products in the fresh-meat department and 66 percent merchandise ham there as well. When included in the meatcase, sausage and ham represent about 4 percent each of the total space.

Sausage accounts for 10 percent of the total packages audited, more than chops (pork, lamb and veal) or roasts (beef, pork, veal and lamb.) Eighty-four percent of the sausage packages presented were pork sausage. The top two sausage varieties were hot Italian and bratwurst.

According to FreshLook syndicated data, sausage represents 6 percent of total meatcase volume (in dollars and pounds) and its growth is outpacing the total meatcase.

This data shows there are more prospects for pork products to gain space in the meatcase. Consumers normally look for fresh products, but now they can look for processed ones as well.