Published in Marketing
Trust is key in growing US meat market
The huge meat market in the US isprojected to grow steadily over the next years, driven by the increasing popularity of private label and frozen meat products. However, new brands must establish themselves as being trustworthy and reliable, finds new report by Canadean.

According to Canadean, the US meat market was valued at approximately US$68 billion in 2013 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 1.7% to reach close to US$84 billion by 2018. Fresh meat continues to lead the meat market in the US, accounting for over a quarter of the market volume in 2013. This can be attributed to a rising preference for fresh produce, especially among older consumers. However, products such as frozen meat that can be bought in bulk and preserved for long periods of time also appeal to a large number of consumers. In 2013, the US frozen food market was valued at US$18 billion and is forecast to grow to reach US$22 billion by 2018, making up more than half of the value of the global frozen food market, expected to lie at US$43 billion in 2018.
Safwan Kotwal, analyst at Canadean says: “Consumers are showing less brand and product loyalty, switching to alternatives they see as providing better value for money. Although fresh meat continues to sell well, processed foods have been growing in popularity over the past decade due to their affordability and convenience. Fresh meat manufacturers must ensure that they keep the price of their meat competitive in order to continue to appeal to value-conscious consumers.”

Consumers have trust issues with private label meat 

Private label meat products have proved fruitful for retailers’ own brands and further undermine the fresh meat market. Non-branded meat is generally priced lower than branded products, thus appealing to consumers on a budget. Having said this, manufacturers need to address consumers’ concerns with regard to trust and ethics.
Kotwal adds: “Global meat scandals have tightened the screw on this market, leaving consumers angry and somewhat confused, leading to demand for greater transparency.” Consumers associate meat from free-roaming animals with better taste and organic certification with products free from 'bad' ingredients. Displaying credible food certifications on the package will enhance the perception of the product as being of higher quality. 

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