DALLAS – The Power of Meat presentation was slightly different this year. Anne-Marie Roerink, principal at 210 Analytics, presented findings from the annual consumer study on the first day of the 2019 Meat Conference in Dallas instead of the final day; and insights from the Power of Meat focused more on the forces shaping US food culture and influencing consumers' purchasing behaviors.

“Food culture is changing at a rapid pace, and for us to do the right things right, we have to change along with it,” Roerink said.

One significant trend driving change that was highlighted in the study, and the subject of more than one education session, is the incursion of technology into consumers' kitchens. Smart speakers like Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant can be found in nearly a quarter of American households, according to market research firm Nielsen. The kitchen is the most likely place to find these devices, and cooking skills are the most sought-after programs by consumers. To capitalize on this trend, for example, the Beef Checkoff recently launched Chuck, a digital guide “to all things beef.” Recipes, cuts, cooking tips and nutrition information are now available to consumers via their smart speakers.

Along similar lines, new cooking technologies such as the Instant Pot and air fryers have taken hold in consumer kitchens, although the stovetop and oven remain the appliances of choice for the preparation of meat and poultry, according to Roerink.

“Consumers average four to five meat and poultry preparation methods and mostly switch between the stove, oven, grill and Crockpot,” according to the study. “If owned, 74 percent consumers use their Instant Pots occasionally or frequently to prepare meat and poultry, and 59 percent use their air fryer to do so.”

Roerink urged the audience to consider, “How can we use that to change our merchandising and our marketing?”

She continued: “Keep in mind these are ways consumers are creating new routines and new favorites. We can be in on the ground floor of these routines.”

Look for in-depth coverage of The Power of Meat study in the April issue of MEAT+POULTRY.