Leveraging Better-for-You Meat Transparency Claims

By Steve Ramsey and Larry Levin

Leveraging Better-For-You Meat Transparency Claims to Boost Sales

Transparency is a growing trend in the meat industry. People want to know what goes into the food they eat, where it’s from, and how it’s made. As this holistic health trend grows among consumers, antibiotic free (ABF) and organic meat claims are impacting total overall sales. Manufacturers and retailers need to stay ahead of this trend to meet the needs of this changing consumer landscape and realize outsized sales growth.

There’s been a rise in popularity of ABF and organic meat, with total 2016 ABF dollar sales boasting a three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent, while total 2016 organic meat dollar sales netted a 32 percent CAGR. Chicken accounted for $1.8 billion of the ABF meat market, and $500 million of organic meat. Beef accounted for $900 million of ABF sales and more than $250 million of organic. Grass-fed beef rapidly expanded to nearly $400 million in 2016 and a whopping 54 percent three-year CAGR.

Manufacturers and retailers looking for outsized growth need to capitalize on the following trends:

Growth of Perimeter Shopping
Shoppers are continuing to spend time and money in the store perimeter. There’s been a CAGR of nearly four percent during the last four years, more than double total food and beverage growth. Fresh meats accounted for about one-third of the $150 billion in total perimeter sales, with 50 percent coming from beef and 25 percent from chicken.

Holistic Health Consumers
Shoppers are becoming more health conscious, so claims like organic, ABF, free range, no added hormones, humanely raised, and all natural are leading to increased sales within the meat industry. Rising global concern, broad awareness and a growing interest in holistic health directly connect to the trends of transparency, including clean, healthier and better-for-you eating. We’re increasingly seeing a move toward organic and ABF options and manufacturers and retailers are adjusting in direct response to shopper expectations. The success of these claims is impacting the overall competitive landscape as manufacturers and retailers shift their assortment to align more closely with clean eating trends.

Increased Basket Size
Offering assortments that include ABF and organic meat options increase average overall basket size, creating an opportunity to accurately target specific shopper segments. Assortment and personalization play key roles in reaching shoppers. For example, shoppers who are more environmentally concerned are pre-disposed to buy from companies that practice humane treatment of animals and offer an assortment that addresses better-for-you eating concerns.

With food transparency and better-for-you claims increasingly sought after by shoppers, it‘s important to create an effective strategy to leverage this tremendous opportunity for growth. Ask us how.

To learn more about creating a winning strategy for ABF and organic trends and grow overall sales and basket size, contact Steve Ramsey at or Larry Levin at

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