Making the Cut: Meat and Poultry Back to the Center of the Plate

Ever since humans first cooked meat over flame, it’s been a dietary staple – a source of nourishment and comfort. Flash forward to 2020, when there is a sort of a primal demand for animal-based protein amid a time of uncertainty.

That’s not to say that people are cooking whatever hunks of meat they can find. In a marketplace that was quite robust and diverse before the pandemic, consumers are buying different kinds of meat and poultry products and using them in a variety of ways.

Think of today’s selling environment like one of those retail meat cut posters hanging in the butcher shop or meat department. There is a market as a whole, but it is portioned into different sections. Each section has its own features and applications.

The Market for Value

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing with regional flare-ups, shoppers have made decisions based on food availability, both in stores and in their homes. Many consumers went back to traditional animal proteins for the center of the plate, something that had been eroding in the past decade. All of the sudden, it was important to get chicken, beef, pork and other meats and knowing that you could use it or freeze it. Indeed, freezer pantries are larger than they have been in decades, as people stocked up in spring.

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