Private brand meat sales up more than 12% last year

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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FMI — The Food Industry Association recently reported that the meat industry exceeded $50 billion in sales for 2019, up one percent from 2018. Within that number, private brands saw the biggest leap, up 12.3% from the year before.

FMI worked with the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education to release its 15th annual study of the category. Plant-based meat alternatives are a hot topic, and the report did show that sales for that category were $760 million in 2019, up nearly 12%, but it’s still a small percentage of the overall growth.

Supermarkets were the top spot to buy meat, with more than half of shoppers purchasing there — likely a reason private brands saw such a large jump.

On this same note, an article in The Fence Post, an agriculture magazine, discussed the importance of ranchers to establish a private label beef company. The article interviews some suppliers on how they navigate the marketing and processing side of things.

83% of shoppers purchase specific cuts of meat and they are eating smaller portions.
Rick Stein , vice president, fresh foods, FMI

The FMI and Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research study said consumers are hungry for brands to provide them information on nutrition, food safety practices and the brand’s environmental impact, all things that private brand suppliers can assist retailer’s with.

In light of the plant-based trend, the study also found that consumers are more likely to consumer meat in moderation, as opposed to eliminate it altogether, with flexitarians (12%) looking to reduce their animal protein through smaller portion sizes or going a day without meat and poultry.

“One of the most compelling storylines in the analysis is that 83% of shoppers purchase specific cuts of meat and they are eating smaller portions,” said Rick Stein, vice president of fresh foods at FMI. “But with total volume sales up slightly, that means they are eating less more often.”