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DES MOINES, Iowa - In the first six months of 2006, pork outpaced beef and chicken in tonnage growth vs. year ago performance, and outperformed chicken as well in dollar sales growth, according to the National Pork Board, based here.
"During this timeframe, we saw increased pork feature activity, which we know influences tonnage sales," said Karen Boillot, NPB's director of retail marketing, "In addition, we suspect that above-normal supplies of chicken moderated prices, while beef supplies remained tight, leading to moderate beef movement."
The Pork Board said fresh pork tonnage was up 6 percent vs. year ago performance for the first half of 2006; beef was up 3 percent, and chicken, up 4 percent. Within fresh pork, impressive tonnage gains were made across segments, including chops up 5 percent, roasts up 12 percent, ribs up 9 percent, unflavored tenderloins up 3 percent. Valued added products (which included flavored tenderloins) were up 8 percent.
In addition, "A" feature support increased at retail for all fresh pork segments except unflavored tenderloins, the board said. Feature focus shifted away from unflavored tenderloins -- although tonnage was still up -- reflected in valued-added feature increases which includes flavored tenderloins and flavored loin filets.
Pork chops continued to drive the fresh pork category, representing 38 percent of pounds sold and 43 percent of dollar sales, followed by ribs and roasts, which flip-flopped for second and third place based on the time of year and region of the country.
"This data illustrates the real opportunity retailers have in promoting a variety of fresh pork cuts, supported by a strong feature strategy," said Boillot.