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    PG Web Extra: Protein, Present and Future

    Meat stands its ground as non-animal proteins make inroads with consumers, but for how long?

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ

    Among the current health and wellness food trends, protein is coming on strong.

    As reported in PG’s Protein Report in the June 2015 issue, a recent Nielsen global health report found 30 percent of North American consumers rate “high in protein” attribute as very important in their purchasing decisions and 23 percent are willing to pay a premium for products that are high in protein. As a result, Nielsen reports, products with protein claims grew about 3 percent in dollars over the past year.

    Nielsen also reported these sales trends among protein-related categories:

    The meat department overall saw 7.3 percent dollar increase versus a year ago but volume is slightly declining (-0.5 percent). In the last 52 weeks, the department has had almost 8 percent average retail price increases. The trend is being driven by the fresh meat case, which makes up 63 percent of the meat department.  Fresh meat dollars have increased 8.1 percent (driven by a 9.8 percent increase in retail prices), resulting in a 1.5 percent decrease in volume.
    Processed meat, which makes up about 27 percent of total meat department, has had a positive 6.3 percent dollar change and 2.1 percent volume change versus a year ago (average retail prices increasing 4.2 percent).

    Among animal proteins in other departments:

    Canned ham: Dollars were up 4.6 percent but units were down 9.1 percent
    Shelf-stable meat: Dollars up 0.9 percent and volume down 3.8 percent
    Frozen meat: Up 4.2 percent in dollars and down 2 percent in volume (frozen poultry down in dollars and volume 1.5 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively)
    Seafood: Dollars up 4.8 percent but volume down 1.7 percent
    Yogurt: Dollars increased 3 percent and units were slightly down at -0.6 percent
    Eggs: Up 11.2 percent in dollars and 2.3 percent in units.

    Among alternative proteins sold in produce and elsewhere: 

    Tofu: Dollar sales increased 2.3 percent, volume sales increased 1.4 percent
    Dry beans: Dollars sales decreased 2.5 percent, volume sales decreased 4.6 percent
    Grains and dry beans (sold in center store): Dollars are up 0.8 percent but volume is down 2.3 percent
    Lentils: Dollars sales increased 5.1 percent, volume sales increased 2.3 percent
    Frozen edamame is down 0.3 percent in both dollars and volume

    Sources: Nielsen FreshFacts Total U.S., Latest 52 Weeks Ending March 28, 2015; Nielsen Total U.S. - All Outlets Combined, plus Convenience Stores, 52 weeks ending March 28, 2015.

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ
    • About Jim Dudlicek As editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer, Jim Dudlicek oversees daily operations of the magazine, spearheads its signature features, produces PG’s monthly Trend Alert newsletter on center store issues, moderates its regular webcast series, and writes and comments about a wide range of grocery issues. A food industry journalist since 2002, Jim came to PG in June 2010 after covering the dairy industry for 7½ years, during which time he served as chief editor of Dairy Field and Dairy Foods magazines. A graduate of Marquette University, Jim is fascinated by how truly progressive grocers inspire consumers to enjoy food, transforming the industry from mere merchants into educators that can take the most basic of all necessities and turn it into something profound and life-enhancing.

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