Cartoon image of people shopping in a grocery store aisle

April 02,2020

Meating the Challenge Part 1: Top Trends & the Health-Conscious Consumer

By 2021, meat, poultry, and meat substitutes are projected to bring in approximately $100 billion in retail sales.1 While this provides substantial market opportunities, producers and manufacturers are challenged to formulate (and reformulate) products to meet consumer preferences and drive their purchasing decisions. Categorized into key top trends, purchasing decisions are influenced by: the Health-Conscious Consumer, Product Premiumization, and Plant-Based Alternatives.

  • Health-Conscious Consumer: In today’s marketplace, grocery store aisles provide shoppers with a variety of options. However, as health officials warn the public of potential diet-related health concerns, consumers are beginning to take a larger role in their own health and well-being – driving the purchase of products that can promote this lifestyle.
  • Product Premiumization: While shoppers are continuing to look for “better-for-me” products to promote their health and well-being, they are also mindful to choose products that provide convenience to their on-the-go lifestyle.
  • Plant-Based Alternatives: As product developers pursue innovations that fit the health-conscious and on-the-go consumer, plant-based products have seen increased interest from consumers across all applications.

The Health-Conscious Consumer

For years, consumers have been increasingly warned about the negative health consequences meat products – particularly processed meats – can impact. Processed meats include products that range from hot dogs and beef jerky, to ham and smoked meats, and beyond. While these products are not inherently “bad” for you, they have been known to contain higher amounts of sodium and unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats) that are associated with adverse health effects.2 With this is mind, two-thirds of shoppers are now looking for “better-for-me” alternative meat options that allow them to avoid products with these negative conotations.3

Cartoon woman with grocery cart selecting meat from a refrigerated meat section.

To achieve this goal, many shoppers have chosen to consume leaner cuts of meat, like chicken or turkey, plant-based meat products, like Beyond Meat® or the Impossible Burger™, and/or blended products made from both traditional and plant-based protein sources. While 86% of shoppers reported to be “meat-eaters,” 63% of these shoppers also indicated they would “maybe” or “definitely” purchase blended and plant-based items.4 In contrast, other shoppers have simply chosen to limit their intake (avoid second helpings) and portion sizes of processed meats.

However, a large portion of shoppers have begun to look for products with a greater nutritional emphasis. In fact, 70% of shoppers are interested in specific dietary callouts and information such as protein content, total fat and sodium to be right on the package.5 Products with this type of information alone brought in $135 million in 2018, a 16.6% increase year-over-year, thus further emphasizing the importance consumers are placing on products that promote a healthy lifestyle.6

While consumers have a variety of factors that influence their purchasing decisions in an overwhelming marketplace, manufacturers can stand out against the rest and be kept top of mind by meeting consumer demand for products that maintain a healthy lifestyle. See how Kemin can help you meet consumer demand for front-of-package label claims, while also keeping your products freshersaferlonger.

Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3, where we dive deeper into product premiumization and plant-based alternatives, respectively. In the meantime, explore more about top food and beverage industry topics here.



1Packaged Facts. (2017). Meat & Poultry: U.S. Retail Market Trend & Opportunities. Retrieved from:

2S. Cassidy. (2019). What exactly is processed meat? And how much is safe to eat? Retrieved from:

3, 4, 6Food Marketing Institute. (2019). The Power of Meat: An In-Depth Look Through the Shoppers’ Eyes.

5Annual Meat Conference. (2018). Top Findings of the Power of Meat 2018. Retrieved from: