Evolving Trends Across the US

US - The 2007 National Meat Case Study took a look at the U.S. fresh meat case to identify trends and changes as well as identify areas of opportunity.
calendar icon 13 November 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

The two most important questions that the results of this study answered are:

  • What are retailers around the country merchandising in their fresh meat cases?
  • How has this changed in the last couple years?

In order to answer these questions, the scope of the 2007 project grew significantly; it looked at more than 123,000 packages in 121 retail stores in 48 key metro markets across 34 states.

2007 vs. 2004
Packages + 17%
Retail Stores + 16%
Markets + 12%
States + 17%

Here's a look at what was revealed in the 2007 National Meat Case Study. See how your store compares to the national averages.

66% Fresh meat owned 66% of the share of self-serve meat case linear feet in 2007, up from 63% in 2004.
27% Beef's and Ground Beef's shares of self-serve meat case linear feet remained steady at 19% and 8% respectively from 2004 to 2007; total fresh beef packages account for 27% of linear feet in the self-serve meat case.
93% Of all the linear feet devoted to fresh meat, the average percentage devoted to the self-service case was 93% in 2007.
-3% The average number of Beef SKU's per supermarket decreased 3% from 47.3 in 2004 to 45.8 in 2007.
+9% The average number of Ground Beef SKU's per supermarket increased 9% from 12.1 in 2004 to 13.2 in 2007.
27% 27% of whole muscle beef packages were case ready, up from 23% in 2004.
67% 67% of Ground Beef packages were case ready, up from 66% in 2004.
26% Over one quarter of all the heat and serve packages in the case are beef.
7% The percentage of beef packages that were value-added (flavor or ingredient added) packages increased from 4% in 2004 to 7% in 2007.
+50% The percentage of whole muscle beef packages with on-pack nutrition labels increased 50% (from 16% to 24%) from 2004 to 2007.
+13% The percentage of Ground Beef packages with on-pack nutrition labels increased 13% (from 68% to 77%) from 2004 to 2007.
+100% The percentage of whole muscle beef packages with natural claims on the package increased 100% (from 2% to 4%) from 2004 to 2007.
+257% The percentage of Ground Beef packages with natural claims on the package increased 257% (from 7% to 25%) from 2004 to 2007.
  Antibiotic-free, hormone-free and vegetarian feed are the three most common natural claims on beef packages.
  Whole muscle beef saw a decrease in the number of packages that were supplier-branded; supplier-branded ground beef packages remained steady
  Both whole muscle beef and ground beef saw a significant increase in the number of packages that were store-branded.


Supplier Brand 2004 2007 % Decrease
Whole Muscle Beef 27% 20% 26%
Ground Beef 18% 18% 0%


Store Brand 2004 2007 % Increase
Whole Muscle Beef 15% 31% 107%
Ground Beef 7% 21% 200%

This study, known as the National Meat Case Study 2007, was funded by The Beef Checkoff, the National Pork Board and Cryovac Food Packing Division of Sealed Air Corporation. This extensive audit of the nation’s meat cases was benchmarked against the same study conducted in 2004.

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