Whilst observing the market changes and analysing the current consumer trends, we can distinguish the main trends concerning the meat sector. Each of them corresponds to the current consumer expectations in both the European Union and on the American and Canadian market.
Today’s consumers are driven by the ‘ethical consumption’ rule which applies not only to a high level of farm animals’ well-being but also fair remuneration for the farmers. We see a gradual growth in preferences for the meat originating from animals which had a lot of space, were free to move and were bred in appropriate conditions and had their herd needs met. What is more, consumers, being concerned about the health of themselves and their children, choose meat produced without antibiotics.
Today’s consumers are more and more aware of the need to protect the environment and reduce green-house gases and reduction of plastic introduced to the environment in the form of used packaging. At the same time, there are growing expectations from the producers for the production process to meet the ‘climate neutral’ standards, i.e. with a significant reduction in greenhouse gases associated with breeding.
Consumers also expect simple and reliable information concerning the ingredients of the products they consume. Transparency of the production process and final product is becoming one of the main values for the recipients. Expectations in this regard concern not only the food safety and full information in line with the ‘farm-to-table’ movement. Consumers wish to know its exact place of origin and how it was produced. Producers include this information on the packaging which emerges, on the one hand, from the European Union’s legal provisions, but importantly – from answering the consumers’ needs.
One of the most important trends which is consequential of the changing lifestyle of today’s generations and to which the producers must respond is the convenience of preparation and division of food into smaller portions, also prepared for consumers from single-person households. Clients don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but, at the same time, they care about the freshness of prepared products, getting to know new flavours and cultivating cooking skills. The response to the aforementioned consumer needs are the ‘convenience-type’ meat products. Amongst such products, we can distinguish packed cold cuts, meat snacks and portioned sausages, ready products for baking, meal kits and frozen ready meat meals for reheating in a microwave or in an oven. Cold cuts and meat products in the European Union are produced with the consideration of consumer expectations and the production system and rich tradition and experience enable the supply of a wide assortment of products without improvers or artificial additives into the market.
According to the estimates of Mintel – research company delivering market analyzes, in the coming years, the market of processed meat products in the United States may grow annually by approx. 3% and by as much as approx. 4% in Canada.
This creates good conditions for importing meat products from the European Union, the additional advantages of which are not only good quality and ingredients but also the guarantee of a high level of the animals’ well-being, in the feeding of which no antibiotics or growth hormones have been used.
Adding such products to one’s offer if certainly a good choice!