The Protein Labeling Study
Done in partnership with the National Pork Board and The Beef Checkoff Program, the Protein Labeling Study is a two-part research study conducted in 2004-2005 and 2009-2011.
Both portions of the study included qualitative and quantitative phases to understand shoppers’ needs at the meat case.
Protein Labeling Study I
In 2004, the study began by conducting a focus group. The consensus from this group was that consumers were bored with their current meal rotation, but were afraid to try unfamiliar products and do not have time to find new ideas. This led us to believe that consumers need help selecting and preparing meats. Through this research, we determined that if you include photos, recipes and information on a meat package, consumers respond by purchasing more meat.
In 2005, we implemented store tests where we included recipes on the inside our meat labels with photos of the finished recipe on the front! Forty six percent of shoppers said they are likely to purchase new or different cuts of meat that have on-pack labels, and strong dollar sales gains were achieved across the entire meat case.
Protein Labeling Study II: Phase 1
For the second part of this study, in 2009, nine mini focus groups were gathered to determine explore further what makes a good label. We found that consumers resist buying unfamiliar cuts that they don’t know how to prepare, yet also complain about being stuck in a cooking rut. This means that they were looking for help and new ideas! Consumers also noted that they prefer information to be on a package were no extra effort is required of them, i.e.: looking up a recipe.
Protein Labeling Study II: Phase 2
This part of the study, conducted in 2011, evaluated consumer response and sales performance of on-pack labeling across the entire meat case through a traditional supermarket and a club store test.
Comparing unit sales results during the test period versus a year prior, we found that the store labeled products overall outperformed control store labeled products by 1.57% points.
Overall there was a lot of positive feedback, and one consumer even noted that…
[The labels are] a great concept, it’s an eye catcher. There is a lot of information. I like it!
In addition, on-pack cross-promotion coupons were tested on Ground Chuck 80/20 and steaks for grilling and broiling for a four-week period in five test stores.
This study showed that cross promotion coupons increase sales even further with Ground Chuck 80/20 outperforming control stores by 6.95 percentage points and steak for grilling and broiling outperforming control by 16.81 percentage points.