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The Fresh Meat Market in the U.S.: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Turkey and Lamb in Retail and Foodservice


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The Fresh Meat Market in the U.S.: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Turkey and Lamb in Retail and Foodservice.

Meat is one of the most dynamic commodities in the United States today. This is primarily due to the trend of adding value to livestock through organic, grass-fed, free-range and other farm practices, as well as the growing trend to brand customer-ready meat.

The Fresh Meat Market in the U.S.: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Turkey and Lamb in Retail and Foodservice provides in-depth analysis of the five leading meat categories—beef, chicken, lamb, pork and turkey—sold through retail and foodservice channels.

Looking at total U.S. meat dollar sales, the data for 2007 to 2008 displays the impact of the economy on meat purchases. From 2007 to 2008, chicken, often considered the affordable meat, experienced a 6.7% increase in dollar sales, while beef barely showed any growth. However beef is still the leader in a $142 billion market.

For retail, market size (current and projected) and composition data are provided for the five uncooked meat categories, as well as the numerous value-added positionings in which they compete. Scanner data allows for brand rankings and market share analysis. This report also examines the competitive landscape throughout the foodservice channel: suppliers and distributors of uncooked meat, branding trends, menu positionings and more.

Consumer usage data on meat, in general, and meat by category, as well as consumer opinions towards branding and value-added positionings is included. Other topics covered include regulatory, food safety, market drivers, trends in new products and marketing trends.

The report also provides profiles of the following marketers and producers: Tyson Foods, Inc., Cargill Meat Solutions, Smithfield Foods, Inc., JBS Swift & Co., Sysco Corp., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., OSI Group LLC, National Beef Packing Co., LLC, Perdue Farms Inc., Hormel Foods Corp., along with several smaller but notable players such as Agri Beef Co., LLC, Albert’s Organics, Châtel Farms, Frontier Meats, and Tallgrass Beef Co.


  • Executive Summary
    • The Products in This Report
      • Items Beyond the Scope of This Report
      • An Overview of Meat Packing and Packaging
      • The Trend in Branding
      • Marketing Terms Used on Labels
      • Who Regulates U.S. Meat?
      • Grades for Meat Products
      • What's on the Label?
    • The Market
      • Total U.S. Meat Market Is Valued at $142.3 Billion in 2008
        • Table Total U.S. Meat Sales by Type, 2004-2008 (in billions of dollars)
      • Retail Sales Dip in 2008
      • Foodservice Dollar Sales Stay High Because of Price Increases
      • Future Growth Is Slow and Steady
        • Table Projected Total U.S. Meat Sales by Type, 2008-2013 (in billions of dollars)
      • Global Meat Trading
      • U.S. Meat Exports
    • The Marketers
      • Meat Marketer Overview
      • Acquisitions and Consolidations
      • Top-10 U.S. Meat Marketers Based on 2007 Figures
        • Table Top-10 U.S. Meat Marketers, 2008
    • The Retail Scene
      • Shopping Options Are Plentiful
      • Supermarkets and Mass Merchandisers Carry the Most Meat
      • Self-Serve Refrigerated Meat Case
      • The Butcher Counter Is Mostly Seafood
    • The Foodservice Channel
      • Slow Times in Foodservice
      • Where Foodservice Operators Get Their Meat
      • Where Do the Distributors Get Their Meat?
      • Meat Promotions and Cost-Savings Tactics
    • The Consumer
      • Consumer Overview
      • USDA Consumption Data
        • Table U.S. Per Capita Consumption of Meat (boneless, trimmed), 1996-2006 (By variety, in pounds consumed per person)
    • New Products and Trends
      • Where Opportunities Exist
      • Overview of New Product Trends
  • The Products
    • Key Points
    • Products in This Report
      • Scope of the Report
      • Items Beyond the Scope of This Report
      • Methodology
    • From Livestock to Meat
      • What Is Livestock?
      • Meat Categories
      • Beef
      • Premium Varieties of Beef
      • Chicken
      • Livestock Marketing
    • Product Packaging and On-Pack Descriptors
      • Meat Packing Plant-Politically Correct for Slaughterhouse
      • Individual Servings for Portion Control
      • The Trend in Branding
      • Marketing Terms Used on Labels
      • Applying Livestock Practices to Make Claims
    • Regulatory Agencies
      • Who Regulates U.S. Meat?
      • Grades for Meat Products
        • Table Beef Quality Grades
        • Table Lamb Quality Grades
      • What's on the Label?
      • From Voluntary to Mandatory
      • Country-of-Origin Labeling
      • COOL's Impact on the Canadian Meat Industry
      • USDA Holds Hearing on Irradiation of Beef
      • USDA Scientists Help Improve Beef Safety
      • There Will Be Change with USDA Leadership
      • FDA Takes First Step in Approving Genetically Engineered Meat
    • Product Safety
      • The Ins and Outs on Meat Recalls
      • Largest Beef Recall in History
      • Recalls that End In Closure
      • The Nebraska Beef Recall
      • Are You Prepared for a Product Recall?
        • Table A Sampling of Meat Recalls, 2008
      • Action Steps to Prevent Meat Recalls
      • Traceability Is Necessary for Meat Safety
      • Making Inspection Reports Readily Available
      • Naming Names
  • The Market
    • Key Points
      • Total U.S. Meat Market Is Valued at $142.3 Billion
      • Pricier Meats Show Greatest Drop, While Chicken Booms
        • Table Total U.S. Meat Sales by Type, 2004-2008 (in billions of dollars)
      • Retail Sales Dip in 2008
        • Table Total U.S. Retail Meat Sales by Type, 2004-2008 (in billions of dollars)
      • Foodservice Dollar Sales Stay High Because of Price Increases
        • Table Total U.S. Foodservice Meat Sales by Type, 2004-2008 (in billions of dollars)
    • Market Composition
      • Beef Is More than Half of All Meat Dollar Sales
        • Table Total U.S. Meat Sales by Type and Channel, 2008 (percent share)
      • Extra Data on Foodservice Beef and Chicken Sales
      • Pork and Turkey Driven by Retail Sales; Chicken by Foodservice
      • Share of Retail Merchandising Space
      • Butcher Counter Mostly Non-Meat
      • A Closer Look at Refrigerated Retail Beef Sales
      • Chicken at Retail Is All About Breasts
      • Pork at Retail is Mostly Chops
      • Gobbling Up Turkey
    • Projected Growth
      • Future Growth Is Slow and Steady
        • Table Projected Total U.S. Meat Sales by Type, 2009-2013 (in billions of dollars)
      • Retail Sales Will Be Strongest for Poultry
        • Table Projected Total U.S. Retail Meat Sales by Type, 2009-2013 (in billions of dollars)
      • Foodservice Dollar Sales Strong Due to Inflated Menu Prices
        • Table Projected Total U.S. Foodservice Meat Sales by Type, 2009-2013 (in billions of dollars)
    • Imports and Exports: A Global Overview
      • Global Imports
        • Table Global Imports of Major Meats, by Type, 2004-2009 (in millions of tons)
      • Global Exports
        • Table Global Exports of Major Meats, by Type, 2004-2009 (in millions of tons)
      • U.S. Meat Exports
        • Table U.S. Exports of Major Meats, by Type, 2004-2009 (in thousands of tons)
        • Table Global Exports of Major Meats, by Type, 2004-2009 (percent share of global exports)
      • Category-by-Category Export Overview
  • The Marketers
    • Key Points
      • Meat Marketer Overview
      • Comments from Meat Authorities
      • Financial Headliners
    • Leading U.S. Meat Marketers
      • Top-10 Based on 2007 Figures
        • Table Top-10 U.S. Meat Marketers, 2008
      • And Then There Were Three
        • Table Top-Five U.S. Beef Marketers, 2008
      • Could Three Become Two in Chicken?
        • Table Top-Three U.S. Chicken Marketers, 2008
      • Moving Up in the Lamb Business
        • Table Top-Three U.S. Lamb Marketers, 2008
      • Pork Practicalities
        • Table Top-Three U.S. Pork Marketers, 2008
      • Thankful for the Turkey
        • Table Top-Three U.S. Turkey Marketers, 2008
    • Marketers in FDM
      • Refrigerated Brands Challenging to Track
        • Table IRI-Tracked Retail Sales of Refrigerated Meat, 2004-2008 (in millions of dollars)
      • Frozen Sales Data Too Encompassing
        • Table IRI-Tracked Retail Sales of Frozen Meat, 2004-2008 (in millions of dollars)
    • A Detailed Look at the Top 10
      • Background on the Leaders
      • Certified Angus Beef
    • Competitive Profile: Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Arkansas
      • Company Overview
      • Strategically Positioned for Success
      • Update on Business Ventures
      • Tyson Fresh Meats
      • Getting to Number-One Gets Chronicled
      • Tyson Today
      • Don Tyson Speaks to the Press
      • Immediate Acquisition Plans
      • Labeling Controversy
      • Investing in Research and Development
      • Environmental Upgrades
      • No Matter Your Success, Be Prepared for a Product Recall
      • Product Promotion
    • Competitive Profile: Cargill Meat Solutions, Wichita, Kansas
      • Company Overview
      • Investing in the Branded Beef Business
      • Environmental Certification
      • Investment in Meat Science and Meat Tracking
      • Value-Added Meat Acquisitions
    • Competitive Profile: Smithfield Foods, Inc., Smithfield, Virginia
      • Company Overview
      • Confirming its Financial Situation
      • The Farmland Foods Connection
      • Saying Good-Bye to Beef
      • Activity Overseas
      • COOL Labeling Plans in Place
    • Competitive Profile: JBS Swift & Co., Greeley, Colorado
      • Company Overview
      • Taking Over Smithfield Beef
    • Competitive Profile: Sysco Corp., Houston, Texas
      • Company Overview
      • Most Meat Offerings Are Beef
    • Competitive Profile: Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Pittsburg, Texas
      • Company Overview
      • Irony in the Making
      • Pilgrim's Financial Woes
    • Competitive Profile: OSI Group LLC, Aurora, Illinois
      • Company Overview
    • Competitive Profile: National Beef Packing Co., LLC, Kansas City, Missouri
      • Company Overview
      • Growth Through Acquisition
      • Stop Right There: You Can't Be Sold
    • Competitive Profile: Perdue Farms Inc., Salisbury, Maryland
      • Company Overview
      • How Does Perdue Raise its Poultry?
      • Investing in the Environment
    • Competitive Profile: Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minnesota
      • Company Overview
      • Culinary Arts
      • A New Web Site for Jennie-O
      • Committed to Hispanic Consumers
    • Up and Comers
      • Small Players, Big Plans
    • Movers and Shakers
      • Building a Name in Meat
  • Retail
    • Key Points
      • Retail Distribution Methods
      • Economic Impact on Retailers
    • The Retail Scene
      • Shopping Options Are Plentiful
      • Mass Merchandisers Carry the Most Items Overall
      • Where Are Consumers Shopping for Groceries?
      • How Do They Shop for Meat?
      • Location for Overall Retail Meat Sales
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Meat Sales, by channel, 2007-2008 (percent)
    • The Leading Retailers
      • Getting Your Product in with the Leaders
        • Table Top-Five U.S. Supermarket Chains, dollar sales and number of stores, 2007 or fiscal 2008, depending on chain (in billions of dollars)
        • Table Top-Five U.S. Mass Merchandiser or Club Store Chains That Sell Meat, dollar sales and number of stores, 2007 or fiscal 2008, depending on chain (in billions of dollars)
    • The Meat Department
      • The Current Economy
      • Discounted Meat Quality
      • Meat Merchandising
      • Retailers' Marketing and Promotion Programs
      • Retailers Win When Their Meat Appeals to Ethnic Groups
      • Retail, Plus Mail Order
      • Mail Order and Farmers' Markets for Local Meats
    • Composition
      • A Peak at the Self-Serve Refrigerated Meat Case
      • The Butcher Counter Is Mostly Seafood
    • Comparative Pricing
      • Meat Prices Vary Significantly by Retailer and Label Terms
      • Value-Added: Marinated/Seasoned Meat
        • Table U.S. Retail Marinated/Seasoned Meat Prices, 2008 (price per pound)
      • Beef
        • Table U.S. Retail Branded Beef Pricing Comparison, Jewel, 2008 (price per pound)
        • Table U.S. Retail Beef Pricing Comparison, branded vs. unbranded, Jewel, 2008 (price per pound)
        • Table U.S. Retail Angus Beef Pricing Comparison, Jewel vs. Strack & Van Til, 2008 (price per pound)
        • Table U.S. Retail Ground Beef Prices, 2008 (price per pound)
        • Table U.S. Retail Chicken Prices, boneless and skinless breasts, 2008 (price per pound)
        • Table U.S. Retail Chicken Prices, drumsticks, 2008 (price per pound)
        • Table U.S. Retail Chicken Prices, ground, 2008 (price per pound)
        • Table U.S. Retail Chicken Prices, whole, 2008 (price per pound)
      • The Club Store Price Advantage
        • Table Club Store vs. Supermarket Prices for Select Meat Products, 2008 (price per pound)
      • Butcher Shop: Paulina Meat Market
        • Table U.S. Retail Beef Prices at Butcher, Paulina Meat Market, Prime vs. Select, 2008 (price per pound)
  • Foodservice
    • Key Points
      • Status of the Foodservice Industry
      • What the Future Holds
      • General Restaurant Trends
    • Distributors
      • Where Foodservice Operators Get Their Meat
        • Table Top-Five U.S. Foodservice Distributors, dollar sales, 2007 (in billions of dollars)
      • Where Do the Distributors Get Their Meat?
      • From the Cow: What Number-One Distributor Sysco Offers
      • Sysco Offers Certified-Sustainable Beef
    • Foodservice Chains
      • Top-25 Restaurant Chains
        • Table Top-25 U.S. Restaurant Chains that Buy Raw Meat, Ranked by dollar sales, 2007 (in billions of dollars)
      • Top-10 Contract Chains
        • Table Top-10 U.S. Contract Chains that Buy Raw Meat, dollar sales, 2007 (in billions of dollars)
    • What’s Hot on Menus
      • Internet Chef Survey
        • Table Trends in Appetizers, By Chef Ranking, 2007 (percent)
        • Table Trends in Entrée Salads, By Chef Ranking, 2007 (percent)
        • Table Trends in Entrées/Main Dishes, By Chef Ranking, 2007 (percent)
        • Table Trends in Ethnic Cuisine, by Chef Ranking, 2007 (percent)
        • Table Trends in Preparation Methods, By Chef Ranking, 2007 (percent)
      • Particular Meat Usage Trends
  • The Consumer
    • Key Points
      • USDA Consumption Data
        • Table U.S. Per Capita Consumption of Meat (boneless, trimmed), By Variety, 1996-2006 (in pounds consumed per person)
      • Simmons Consumer Survey
      • Trends in Meat Usage
        • Table U.S. Households Using Meat in Past Six Months by Variety and Cut, 2004-2008 (percent)
      • Who Favors and Resists Beef
        • Table Household Demographics Indexed by Beef Cut, Index, 2008
        • Table Consumer Attitudes and Opinions that Favor or Resist Beef, By Cut, Index, 2008
      • Who Favors and Resists Chicken
        • Table Demographics that Favor and Resist Chicken by Cut, Index, 2008
        • Table Consumer Attitudes and Opinions that Favor and Resist Chicken by Cut, Index, 2008
      • Who Favors and Resists Pork
        • Table Demographics that Favor and Resist Pork by Cut, Index, 2008
        • Table Consumer Attitudes and Opinions That Favor and Resist Pork by Cut, Index, 2008
      • Who Favors and Resists Turkey
        • Table Demographics that Favor and Resist Turkey by Cut, Index, 2008
        • Table Consumer Attitudes and Opinions that Favor and Resist Turkey by Cut, Index, 2008
      • Who Favors and Resists Lamb and Veal
        • Table Demographics that Favor and Resist Other Meat, Index, 2008
        • Table Consumer Attitudes and Opinions that Favor and Resist Other Meat, Index, 2008
    • More Consumer Meat Trends
      • Looking at Meat Through Consumers’ Eyes
      • The Organic Meat Consumer
      • General Organic Food Facts
        • Table U.S. Organic Meat and Poultry Buyers: Where They Shop for Organic Products, Percent share, 2008 (percent)
      • What’s For Dinner?
      • Amount and Frequency of Meat Purchases
      • Meat Leads as Indulgent Food, Especially in Foodservice
      • Food Orders: What, When and Where
      • The Hispanic Consumer
        • Table Hispanic Simmons Indices for Meat, by Variety and Cut, Index, 2008
      • Lack of Consumer Awareness
      • Opinions on Grass-Fed Beef
      • Consumers on Food Safety
  • New Products and Trends
    • Key Points
      • Opportunities: Innovation Trends
      • Trend: Livestock and Processing Claims
        • Table U.S. Retail Meat with a Natural Claim by Variety, percent share, 2007 vs. 2008 (percent)
        • Table U.S. Retail Meat with an Organic Claim by Type, percent share, 2007 vs. 2008 (percent)
      • Trend: Branding
        • Table U.S. Retail Meat Carrying a Brand by Brand Type, percent share, 2007 vs. 2008 (percent)
        • Table U.S. Retail Meat with a Brand by Type and Brand Type, percent share, 2007 vs. 2008 (percent)
      • Trend: Minimal Ingredient Addition
        • Table U.S. Retail Meat with Minimal Ingredient Addition by Ingredient Added, percent share, 2008 (percent)
      • Trend: Cut Variation
      • Trend: Case-Ready Packaging
    • New Products
      • Overview of New Product Trends
      • Going for Local Livestock
      • Adding More Value to Pork
      • Cargill’s Meat Solutions
      • Co-Branding Flavorful Additions
      • When Times Are Tough . . . You Can Still Order Meat
      • All-Natural Chicken
      • Innovations with Hispanic Flair
      • Retailers Grow Store Brand Offerings
      • No Name Grows Presence in Freezer
      • Trumping Up Beef
      • Gourmet Burgers
  • Industry Resources
    • AssociationsBoards
      • Government Departments
      • Meat ProcessorsMarketers
      • PublicationsWebsites

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