Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010 - (Page 48)

Frozen/Refrigerated A Great (Meaty) Start Has the refrigerated breakfast meat category lost its sizzle? By D. Gail Fleenor T he recession has taken some of the sizzle out of refrigerated breakfast meat sales, but the category is still cooking.The introduction of healthier products and added convenience — to encourage consumers to add bacon or sausage to breakfast any day of the week — is helping the category weather tough times. In its report, “Breakfast and Sandwich Meat — US,” Chicagobased research firm Mintel originally forecast category growth of 1.2 percent for 2008, with similar growth continuing through 2011. However, when consumers began pinching pennies during the recession, new data changed the category forecast. Mintel now forecasts a slow recovery of the category through 2013. The category forecast could have been gloomier, given that some consumers may move to private label products to save money, but brand loyalty in the category is strong. Mintel thinks the category has benefited from more at-home meals and will continue to do so. Some of refrigerated breakfast meats’ strongest competition may come from prepackaged, pre-made breakfast meals.While bacon is a staple in 79 percent of U.S. households and sausage in 75 percent (Simmons data), many consumers still regard cooking bacon and sausage for breakfast as a weekend treat rather than a daily protein boost. Manufacturers are working to alter this consumer perception through easily prepared products. “A Well-balanced Attack” “Our most popular breakfast items continue to be the fresh roll sausage and smoked sausage categories, and bacons,” says Gene Deno, business manager/buyer, processed meats, for Indianapolis-based Marsh Supermarkets. The chain operates 99 Marsh Supermarkets and five O’Malia’s Food Markets in Indiana and Ohio.“We have had much success with a variety of brands. However, in the fresh sausage category, Bob Evans, Tennessee Pride and Purnell lead the way. Bacons follow that• Progressive Grocer • January/February 2010 same suit, depending on which brand is being promoted.” His most popular bacon brands include Oscar Mayer, Indiana Kitchen and Emge. “In the event we promote one of our other brands, it does very well as a promoted item.” Eckrich is the brand of choice for smoked sausage among Marsh Supermarket shopAmong Jimmy Dean’s sausage pers, whether advertised offerings are products appealing to waistline watchers (top) and or not, he notes. natural food consumers. To promote the category, Marsh rotates promotional items (fresh sausage, smoked sausage, bacons, breakfast sandwiches, etc.) each week. “We do this in an effort to reach the majority of our customers’ needs,” Deno says.“We have found that a well-balanced attack on the weekly ads has given us a nice lift in the processed meat category as a whole.” Deno notes that his company works to stay on top of several promotional seasons each year and takes advantage of these opportunities for sales. For “August: Back to School,” breakfast sandwiches, fresh links and patties, and cooked links and patties are advertised. The holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas bring promotions of fresh roll sausage, bacons and family-pack fresh sausage links and patties to Marsh. During the months of June, July and August, this Midwestern chain takes advantage of ripening garden tomatoes to promote the entire bacon category, he says, for “BLT Season.” Convenience, Better-For-You? “The two trends primarily driving category consumption for breakfast A H E A D O F W H AT ’ S N E X T

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010
Nielsen’s Shelf Stoppers/Spotlight
Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding Independents Awards: Independent Inspiration
Outstanding Regional Retailer: All Together Now
Outstanding Community-based Retailer: Sharing the Vision
Outstanding Independent Wholesaler:Values for Growth
Independents Report: A Lasting Legacy of Leadership and Inspiration
Fresh Perspectives: Spartan’s Fresh Outlook
Produce: Priced to Move
Refrigerated Meat: A Great (Meaty) Start
Frozen Seafood: Reel it In
Beverage Alcohol: Let it Pour
OTC Medications: Extended Flu Season
FutureTech: Going Mobile
Retail Profile: Food Lion: Renewed
GMA Director’s Note: Leading the Charge
Best Practices: A New Approach to Knowledge
Food Marketing Insights: Got Talent?
Upcoming Events: International Eats
What’s Next

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010