Study shows value of labeling as a marketing tool

by Bryan Salvage
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CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Phase One of the second Protein Labeling Study (PLS II) has been completed, according to the Beef Checkoff Program, the National Pork Board and Yerecic Label. The study, focusing on consumer information needs while shopping the retail meat case, concluded that shoppers value labeling and merchandising providing cooking directions, preparation tips and suggestions for complete meals using various meat cuts.

"As consumer shopping habits continually evolve, our goal is to better understand the information consumers need to purchase more beef products," said Jim Henger, executive director of marketing for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which contracts to manage retail programs for the beef checkoff. "Providing on-pack information that helps consumers purchase and prepare fresh beef will lead to increased demand at retail."

The research provides consumer insight into information that is most helpful to consumers while shopping the meat case, including:

  • Recipes, basic cooking directions and a cooking chart to assist in preparing various cuts of meat and poultry.
  • New ways of preparing familiar cuts of fresh meat and poultry.
  • Serving suggestions for various cuts to make a complete meal

"By partnering with the National Pork Board and Yerecic Label, we are able to stretch beef checkoff dollars while gaining valuable insight into what consumers are looking for while shopping at the meat case," said Helen Weise, chairman of the Joint Retail Committee and producer from Manning, Iowa.

Consumers also shared their thoughts on several on-pack labeling programs. Easy Fresh Cooking labels deliver what consumers want/need to make their fresh meat shopping, preparation and cooking experiences easier. Flavors of the World, a label program that promotes various ethnic tastes from around the globe, also appeals to consumers. Consumers say these labels provide variety while introducing new flavors and recipes.

AdImpact labels highlight cross-merchandising information and coupons for complementary items. Consumers look everywhere for bargains today, and they react positively to these labels when the savings are instant and for products they regularly use.

Phase Two of PLS II includes controlled store testing of the learnings from Phase One. The results of Phase Two will be available in Spring 2011. 

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