AHDB designs “optimum” red meat packaging using data from research

AHDB designs “optimum” red meat packaging using data from research

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has looked at how producers and retailers can optimise packaging and labelling to “improve shopper purchase intent” for red meat.

AHDB produced examples of optimised red meat packaging using the findings from its research.

The research, which was undertaken by AHDB in collaboration with consumer insights company Basis Research, focused on how to improve red meat packaging. AHDB observed that while spend has increased over the last few years, volumes of red meat purchased have decline year-on-year since peaking in 2020.

Previous AHDB shopper data has shown that there is “a need to re-engage shoppers” with the red meat category, both in store and online. The research conducted with Basis Research showed that there are “clear consumer preferences” of what should be included on pack, regardless of the protein or cut.

These can be split into three main categories:

  • Inspire with foodie imagery
  • Inform with health and provenance messaging
  • Aim to reassure consumers on the environment and farming.

Understanding consumer needs

AHDB reported that ‘inspiration’ was the biggest driver of purchase intent, and said that shoppers were drawn to images of tasty, well presented dishes; therefore, the body said that having strong foodie imagery on pack was “essential”.

In the case of pork medallions, pork loins and beef steaks, AHDB said more than half of shoppers selected the labels with foodie imagery as their favourite (64%, 57% and 56% respectively). Additionally, having information on cooking times gave consumers more confidence – particularly for “less familiar” cuts such as lamb.

A research participant told AHDB: “I find the photograph appealing, and if I were feeling indecisive about what to cook, the photo would inspire further food shopping.”

The data showed that health and provenance information was liked by shoppers, particularly messaging around fat, vitamin and mineral content. Highlighting British origin, farming methods such as grass fed or free range as well as any assurance schemes were also reportedly favoured.

AHDB said that 73% of those involved in the study and interested in health said that “lean and low in fat” messaging would encourage them to make a purchase, while 35% “regeneratively farmed” would push them to buy.

Grace Randall, retail and consumer insight manager at AHDB, said: “It’s so important that retailers and producers understand the needs, desires and drives of their consumers.

“It’s clear from this research that shoppers want to feel confident in the quality of their meat, which comes from taste, health benefits and production methods. By helping them to feel informed and inspired we can help drive their red meat purchases.

“AHDB want to showcase the optimised label concepts created in this study and we encourage producers and retailers within the industry to initiate change and to reach out to AHDB for further support.”

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