Sam Gazdziak caught up with Steve Ramsey and Chris DuBois of Information Resources, Inc. to recap their talk on value-added meats market strategy at the Annual Meat Conference.


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Steve Ramsey, IRi:Value added meats or commonly termed as VAM are random weight fresh meat items that are further prepared. They can be sold in the over wrapped meat case or they can be sold in the glass case. And the typical items you will find marinated meats, pre-seasoned meats you'll find kebabs, so variety of specialty burgers type items. So there is a wide range and more and more were finding that packers are providing more finished product, that looks and feels in terms of packaging much more like a branded net weight item that fits into that classification as well. 

Sam Gazdziak:Okay. One of the things I thought was really interesting about your talk was that consumers need for these varies, not only about meal but even by the day of the week. Could you go into a little bit about what those changes are?

Chris Dubois, IRi:Yeah. Our research showed that there is a definite mid-week opportunity as well as a weekend opportunity. In both of those are very different. Mid-week opportunity is made up of, kind of, Monday to Thursday but quicker meals, faster preparation. Schedules are changing so people are looking for options and solutions. Sunday was more of a formal mealtime where they'd have more signs, more things around to play but value added meat also play a big role as people treated themselves typically found that adult meals were the big focus for that versus kind of larger family meals.

Gazdziak:All right. You had also mentioned that there is a fairly significant difference in what some of the top retailer performers are doing in this category and what some of the least successful ones are doing. Could you explain what the top performers are doing right in order to promote this category?

Ramsey:Sure. We found, both through the analysis that we did as well as we went out and did some store visits and audited some stores just to find out what some of those conditions were. The main finding from a space is that they are allocating a lot more space to the categories. So their percentage of space allocated to value added meat as opposed to the rest of the fresh meat area was close 30 percentage of the meat case and it was twice the linear footage of the lower performing.

So what you find is with that space allocation as well as, we found much signage very clear communication to the consumer about their primary buying values and those that are merely around to the convenience of these items to actually the ease of preparation. And there is a lot of discussion or a lot of signage relating to the flavoring. Whether it was attracting them to where the marinated meats where or talking about the variety of flavors and uniqueness in the flavor profiles that they were provided. 

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