How have consumer shopping habits changed during COVID-19? What new animal welfare guidelines are coming? Check out today’s headlines for updates.

Amanda Radke

August 5, 2020

4 Min Read
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The beef industry chain may start with the cow-calf producer, but the processing and retail game is where the rubber meets the road, or perhaps better phrased, where the pasture meets the plate.

So what’s new in packing, processing, retail, online shopping, restaurants, plant-based vs. meat consumption trends and consumer shopping habits?

These recent headlines give us some insight on the changing demographics of consumers. Some of these headlines may almost contradict themselves (see items four and five). However, one thing I think is certain — if we are to be successful in the highly competitive food space, we’ve got to appeal to our customers and meet them right where they are at.

That means pushing for cooking at home meals. We’ve got to make backyard barbecues trendy. How do people choose the right cut of meat? How do they prepare that beef cut? What are some easy, kid-friendly recipes? How do I cook once and dine twice? Why should consumers feel good about choosing meat compared to plant-based counterparts?

Consider these questions as you read these headlines. In future blog posts, we’ll discuss strategies for building relationships and best reaching our consumers right where they are during this uncertain and unpredictable year.

Related:Are you ready to buy groceries online?

1. “JBS acquires previously owned facility in Greeley”

Krissa Welshans for Feedstuffs writes, “JBS USA has acquired a facility that was previously owned and operated by Mountain States Rosen out of bankruptcy through an auction process, a company spokesperson confirmed to Feedstuffs. Mountain States Rosen, a lamb meat processor in Greeley, Colo., that controls a fifth of the U.S. lamb market, filed for bankruptcy in April and liquidated its assets, including the facility in Greeley, which the company had purchased from JBS in 2016.”

2. “Ahold Delhaize USA announces new sustainability policies bolstering GMO product labeling and animal welfare”

As reported by GlobeNewswire, “Ahold Delhaize USA, the parent company of leading grocery brands Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Hannaford and Stop & Shop, has announced new sustainability policies for genetically modified food (GMOs) and farm animal welfare.

“Under the new farm animal welfare policy, Ahold Delhaize USA companies expect suppliers of whole or single ingredient cattle products, whole pork products, whole or single ingredient poultry products and other whole or single-ingredient products derived from farm animals to have an established publicly-facing animal welfare policy, report annually that they meet animal welfare acceptable levels of assurance and disclose progress through an annual animal welfare assessment and provide adequate training in their native language to all individuals involved with the direct handling of animals throughout the supply chain.”

Related:COVID-19 spurs talk of cattle traceability

3. “Amazon online grocery sales triple in second quarter”

Michael Browne for Supermarket News writes, “During Amazon’s second quarter of 2020, the retail giant continued to see huge gains overall due the impact of COVID-19, with online grocery sales alone reaching three times last year’s figures.

“For the second quarter ended June 30, 2020, Amazon reported overall net income increased to $5.2 billion in the second quarter, or $10.30 per diluted share, compared with net income of $2.6 billion, or $5.22 per diluted share, in second quarter 2019. Net sales increased 40% to $88.9 billion in the second quarter, compared with $63.4 billion in second quarter 2019. Excluding the $582 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 41% compared with second quarter 2019.”

4. “Beyond Meat racks up high COVID-19 operational costs, shares fall 7%”

Reuters reports, “Sales fell nearly 61% at the company's U.S. food service business, which supplies plant-based patties, chicken and sausages to fast-food chains like KFC and Dunkin Brands. Revenue from international restaurants more than halved to $7.2 million.”

5. “Conscious consumers: 10 ways Millennials and Gen Zs are changing how & what we buy”

Sally Ho for Green Queen writes, “According to a GlobalData report – an analytics firm working with 4,000 of the world’s biggest companies – almost 70% of the world population is reducing meat consumption or ditching it altogether, driven by astonishing facts about carbon-intensive animal agriculture. The coronavirus has only accelerated the trend, with consumers from Hong Kong to the U.S. showing increasing interest in plant-based meat alternatives.”

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

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