Ground Pork Is Ready for Liftoff - Pork Checkoff

Ground Pork Is Ready for Liftoff

May 5, 2021

The ground segment in any fresh meat operation is big business.

With a $51 billion refrigerated ground meat category, building demand with your consumers can have a considerable impact.

So why not look to ground pork as a catalyst to spur more sales?

Ground Pork Growth Outpaces Poultry

Today, pork accounts for 14% of the ground meat category, but it’s growing. And it’s worth noting that pork’s growth is outpacing its poultry counterpart.

The opportunity is further ripe for retailers since ground pork is only 3% of all pork sales. According to IRI Market Landscape data, the $173 million of sales is proof of rising popularity. The ground segment has taken new share of the entire pork category with 18% growth.

As ground pork demand picks up steam, what can retailers do to capitalize on the momentum?

Make Way for Ground Pork

More exposure is a natural first step to moving more product with consumers.

Ground beef is a prime example. Between the various lean-to-fat ratios, packaging types, and value-add options, there are 24.9 average items weekly per store being sold.

The ground pork alternative only has 2.4

The fix? Get more ground pork products on the shelves. An IRI Innovation Opportunity study determined that adding just six additional items per store would yield 41% more sales, bringing the category an additional $71 million.

As you weave it into the meat case, you’ll also need to experiment where its “home” should be.

Existing ground pork buyers expect to find products with all other fresh pork products. This more traditional, ‘integrated set’ strategy relies on shoppers going directly to their desired protein section and finding all the pork options in one spot.

Don’t Set It and Forget It

A NPB Market Study found two interesting dynamics when it came to where consumers expect to find ground pork in the store.

New buyers – but those who already purchase other meats – will look to the ground section to find a pork variety.

The reasoning? It would be easier to compare against other ground meat options as they look at substitutes, prices and recipe options. This ‘block set’ approach has a ‘block and tackle’ strategy: place it as close to beef or turkey so new consumers discover it and try it out.

However, there is one caveat worth noting: Existing buyers expect to find products with all other fresh pork products. This more traditional, ‘integrated set’ strategy relies on shoppers going directly to their desired protein section and finding all the pork options in one spot.

Let Customers Be Your Guide

Walking the balance beam of serving existing customers while attracting new ones will require a bit of trial and error. Let your customers guide your approach, giving you answers to how they search and purchase new fresh meat products.

By laying the groundwork, retailers can give consumers a choice and develop a winning strategy for their pork portfolio.

In upcoming I2A newsletters, we’ll dive deeper into our insights into this space, bring you fresh data and best practices on how to grow the segment.

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