(KMAland) — Ground pork has enjoyed strong retail performance since the pandemic began.
From March 8th through December 27th, total ground pork sales from a dollar perspective increased 22 percent from one year ago. On a volume basis, ground pork sales are up 16 percent. National Pork Board Director of Channel Marketing Neal Hull is working closely with packers and retailers to tell this important story.
“50 percent of the people that bought ground pork during this pandemic time period were not purchasing it the prior 12 months. So, you talk about household penetration a lot from a brand side and that’s a marketer’s dream come true to have that many new households in. And the other thing that we know from the research is we’re getting to millennials and Gen Z. So, that younger generation that may be a little less, more hesitant on grounds of pork and pork in general, we’re bringing them to the category.”
The Pork Checkoff has invested in customized research to learn more about the customer for ground pork and why they are putting it in the grocery cart.
“One would have hypothesized early on when we were having challenges with shortages at the meat case that potentially it was because there wasn’t other proteins in the case and ground pork may have been the only item there. What we found out is that was not the case it was a destination item. And it wasn’t something that was just going in their freezer, they were using it two to three days after purchase. So, that’s one of the things that we learned and we also learned that you know almost 25 percent of consumers said that they would purchase it again and 90 percent of consumers said that they loved it. So, that was one segment of the research that we’ve done that we’ve really used to demonstrate to both the packers and retailers from a checkoff standpoint that you need to make sure that it’s available on shelf. And I think we’ve done a decent job of that.”
In addition to many traditional recipes, Hull said consumers are using ground pork for fresh, new recipe ideas.
“The research told us that the top usages were for meatballs and for meatloaf. But we’re also finding and one of the largest search items on Google and saw a ton of growth was eggroll bowls, which works really well with ground pork, but it’s really versatile with anything, if you’re making chili you can put ground pork, if you are making lasagna you can put ground pork in it. So, there’s a lot of ways to using it and what we’re really trying to do is just demonstrate to the consumer that it’s that easy. If you are buying a grind, make sure it’s ground pork and it will deliver on taste.”
More information is available at pork.org.