According to The Power of Meat 2019, as an industry, 79% of shoppers who reported buying fresh meat in the past 30 days did so from the self-serve meat case. 

Kiersten Hafer, vice president of marketing for Hatfield, Pennsylvania-based Clemens Food Group, says her company believes that both self-serve and behind the case are vital in meeting consumer needs.

“We’ve introduced products in both areas and have seen success in both,” she says.

For example, in recent years, with the introduction of Hatfield Premium Reserve Pork, Clemens has seen consumer interest in purchasing this premium product line from behind the case, she says.

The majority of Clemens’ consumers prefer the convenience of the self-serve case, Hafer says. That said, the company has found that those shoppers looking for higher value pork appreciate the interaction with the butcher who aids them in purchase decisions and cooking suggestions.

“Clemens Food Group has a portfolio of products under the Hatfield brand that consumers trust,” Hafer says. “As a family-owned, American-made company, our portfolio of brands excel in the self-serve meat case because they appeal to the many consumer need states of today’s hyper-busy and well-educated shopper.”

The Hatfield brand, Hafer says, appeals to consumers through convenience, flavor variety and cuts. “Whether the shopper desires pork products that fulfill the cooking needs from scratch to ready to eat, Hatfield has a portfolio of products to feed their needs.”


Full lineup

Clemens Food Group is a full-scale pork provider, Hafer says, providing products ranging from fresh to value-added. Clemens also provides its customers with solutions like case dividers and branded point of sale materials to support a multi-faceted pork section.

“Under the Hatfield brand, we’re able to provide the best product with the best attribution on label to provide the best representation of pork for the retailer to serve their shoppers’ needs,” she says.

All products sold under the Hatfield brand are backed by a commitment of focusing on a higher operating standard with a greater sense of purpose, she says. The company has a name for this commitment to ethically raised pork with no hormones or steroids and raised without growth hormones: Pork With a Pledge.

“Hatfield stands out by creating easy to prepare, accessible products with usage suggestions and protein call outs right on the package, making it easy to shop the pork section.”


Finding enough space

The single biggest challenge facing Clemens when it comes to retail marketing, Hafer says, is securing enough space for the broad range of pork offerings the company provides. 

“Although pork is still the third protein behind beef and chicken, it has a higher value to the retailer according to The Power of Meat 2019 study. Yet pork still receives the smallest merchandising set.”

Pork shoppers build a bigger basket and are more frequent shoppers as compared to beef and chicken shoppers, she adds. Pork shoppers, for instance, spend $1,663 on 21 trips where beef shopper and chicken shoppers spend 20-25% less with fewer trips, according to Numerator InfoScout Insights.

As category captains, Clemens Food Group continues to provide this type of information to its customers to sell them on the value of pork in the meat case, Hafer says.

Another challenge producers like Clemens face, she adds, is not having the butcher interaction to aid in the consumer purchase decision.

“Because there is consumer confusion around the numerous cuts of pork and the wide range of products available, some consumers prefer the personalization they receive from the butcher behind the case. The Hatfield brand makes each product accessible to the shopper by clearly providing nutritional information, protein call outs, cooking and usage suggestions right on our packaging and through point of sale materials.”