WICHITA, KAN. – Increasing diversity in the cultural make up of retail consumers, combined with the willingness of consumers to explore cross-culture cuisine serves as untapped potential for operators of retail meat departments, according to a marketing and insights team with Cargill.

Because the numbers of multicultural fresh meat shoppers are on the rise and are expected to continue growing for the next four decades, Cargill said a new strategy is needed to meet the growing demand for meat products that appeal to this broad base of consumers, and it plans to research new opportunities.

“There’s never been a more important time for traditional retailers to reassess their fresh meat case offering,” said Cargill.

“Research and insights work will include gathering additional data and working with multicultural employee resource groups to get cultural inputs including Cargill’s Hispanic Latino, Ebony and Asian Alliance Councils. To put these insights into action, Cargill is currently working with retail customers to audit their current assortments and develop opportunities for the fresh meat case to reach multicultural shoppers in new and unique ways.

As an example of how multicultural consumer segments, including Asian Americans, Blacks and Hispanics, are in a position to flex their spending muscle, Cargill pointed out that Hispanic consumers are projected to represent 28% of the US population by 2060. Already, Hispanic consumers’ buying power is nearly $2 trillion and growing.

Recognizing the changing landscape and projecting the opportunities for retailers in the future based on trending multicultural data, Cargill’s team of protein and marketing specialists released initial predictions for this broad market segment to help retailers meet the growing demand. The company plans to expand its consumer research to better serve the country’s multicultural population.  

For example, Cargill said offering meat cuts that are the most relevant to various cultural groups is essential for capitalizing on opportunities in the meat department.

“Retailers should look to understand not only the broad multicultural shopper segments in each market, but also specific nuances, like country of origin and acculturation, to engage them authentically.”

The marketing team added that an appealing meat case variety that appeals to a culture in one part of the country may not work in a different region. Retailers benefit from developing a depth of consumer understanding instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.

Cargill research also identified that offering retail consumers a variety of meats that appeal to a group’s culture and heritage is important among Hispanic consumers. To test the theory Cargill and one of its retail customers offered thin-sliced steak as part of a pilot program to appeal to Hispanic consumers looking for versatility in the meats they bought. That program’s success led to regional expansion of those products and 5% growth in the category.

Cargill’s research has also found that for most retailers, fresh meat purchases are the basis for buying other products during grocery shopping trips and go far to decrease shopping trips and gravitate toward convenience. Based on data from one US retailer, the shopping baskets of consumers purchasing meat are nearly double the size of those not buying meat.