2015 and 2018 National Meat Case Studies: Packaging type, marketing claims, and allocation in the self-service meat case

Date
2021-08
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Abstract

Stores from across the United States were audited to determine the frequency of common packaging types, tray types, tray colors, marketing, and allocation of space of meat and non-meat items in the meat case. 108 stores in 25 states were visited and surveyed in 2015 whereas in 2018 150 stores were audited in 31 states. Auditors were trained by Cryovac Inc. employees at the Gordon W. Davis meat science laboratory before auditing. States were subdivided into 5 regions based on geographical area: West Coast, Mountain/ Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast. Store were audited based on stock keeping units (SKUs) as each SKU represents a unique item in the meat case. Data were analyzed by comparing across species of beef, ground beef, pork, turkey, chicken, veal, lamb, and in 2018, seafood. Additionally, case length was recorded to determine allocation of the retail space to various species groups. In addition, the species groups above, non-meat items, value added products, sausage, processed meat, and miscellaneous were categorized and compared for the percentage allocation of the retail case. Poly-vinyl chloride packaging was the most popular in 2015 and 2018 making up 43.4% and 42.8% of the meat case, respectively. Laminate packaging was the second most popular packaging type at 16.9% and 17% in 2015 and 2018, much more than in previous studies. Tray-less packaging has increased significantly over the years reaching 29.5% of all packaging. White trays are found in the highest percentage of the meat residing around 32% of all packaging types. Black colored trays have decreased in frequency from 2007 to present making up only 19% of the meat case. Yellow tray packaging, however, is the popular tray color for chicken at 37.2%. Chicken was the only species group found in all stores in both 2015 and 2018 while beef decreased its presence in the meat case from 100% to 98% from 2015 to 2018. Space allocated to beef shrunk by an average of 1 meter per store between 2015 and 2018. In both years, chicken was allotted the greatest amount of space in the retail case at 16 meters per store. Beef controls the majority of SKUs offered in the meat case at approximately 30% of all SKUs in 2018. The space provided to each SKU in the meat case shrunk between 2015 and 2018 to only 0.39 meters per SKU average.

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Keywords
Retail Case, Packaging Type, PVC Wrap, MAP, Rollstock
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