What will be some of the top trends in grocery meat and poultry departments in 2023?

In the last couple of years, we have seen an increase in customer knowledge when it comes to meat room product. There has been greater demand for sustainable, local, grass-fed product. Traceability is also becoming a larger consumer consideration when purchasing meat.

We expect this trend to continue into 2023, along with the demand for case-ready products, which now occupy a majority share of meat sales at food retailers. Consumers gravitate toward case-ready products because they save time. Customers are not forced to wait in a line at the counter, and the case-ready product is already prepped to their liking.

What role will equipment play in those trends?

Efficient, reliable and easy-to-use equipment is extremely important in the meat room, especially to meet the increased demand for specialty cuts and case-ready products. Equipment plays an even more important role when we consider the labor shortages many retailers are facing.

Hobart offers a wide array of equipment, including meat saws, mixer-grinders, slicers, choppers and tenderizers, all of which can improve efficiency in a grocery meat department. Several sizes of each product are available to support a variety of applications and retailer needs.

How will Hobart equipment help grocery meat departments stay on top of those trends?

Because Hobart prioritizes performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning and operator assurance in all of their food preparation equipment, they offer several features to better support the operator.

Hobart meat saws have an integrated pusher option for increased operator convenience. The integrated pusher attachment, which is connected to the meat saw, flips out of the way and locks in place when not in use, and the pusher plate eliminates the need to handle items close to the blade. These meat saws are ideal for creating specialty cuts of steak. Hobart mixer grinders and choppers feature exclusive Stay-Sharp knives and plates. The alloy steel construction of the knives keeps an edge longer, and the plates can be resharpened. The grinders are easy to operate, offer precise results and are available in multiple sizes to accommodate a variety of case-ready ground meat options. The Hobart meat tenderizer is the best option for tenderizing cuts for cube steak or for creating strips of meat for stir fry or fajitas. The tenderizer has multiple knife options to provide operators greater flexibility in the cuts they produce.

Do you have any product or other news related to your lineup for meat departments, e.g. new products in the coming year?

In late 2022, Hobart launched the 6614 meat saw with integrated pusher. This was an expansion of the Hobart meat saw line following the 2020 launch of the integrated pusher on our larger-footprint 6801 meat saw. Through voice-of-customer (VOC) research, we have found that this innovation is ideal for the retail grocery space. With more frequent turnover and the likelihood of more operators with varying experience, having a pusher that is integrated with the saw is key. It can help operators feel confident using the equipment and know they are using it correctly.

Hobart also offers a portion scale slicer. The portion scale slicer allows the operator to slice and weigh simultaneously, eliminating back and forth trips to the scale. This innovation is ideal for delis, especially for grab-and-go portioning.

Not only does Hobart offer a full line of products, but we also are our own service provider. Hobart Service has more than 125 locations and 1,500 trained service techs across the U.S. and Canada. Each Hobart Service technician is factory-trained, allowing them to provide our customers with exceptional product knowledge and expert insights.