Progressive Grocer Independent

FEB 2016

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34 | Progressive Grocer Independent | Feburary 2016 Meat Departments M eat departments today must recognize the characteris- tics of the new customer, driven in large part by Millennials. At 80 million strong, they are the biggest genera- tion ever, with $200 billion in annual spending power. Tey are also infu- encing other generations. Health, sustainability, clean labels and community are increasingly important to consumers, and the meat department isn't immune from these Independents need to meet new demands put on meat departments, including local, transparency. By Kari Underly interests. Tis customer buys local because of the percep- tion of transparency regard- ing humanely raised animals on an organic diet without the use of nontherapeutic antibiotics. Te food industry has begun to respond. Chicken producer Perdue recently purchased Niman Ranch, an antibiotic-free pork company. Hormel bought Applegate Farms, a producer of natural and organic value-added prepared meats. Smithfeld Foods, The New Approach to Meat one of the coun- try's largest pork processors, reports that as of Dec. 31, 2015, 81.8 percent of its company-owned farms housed pregnant sows in group sys- tems, which provide enough space for several pigs to live comfortably, with room to walk around and bed down. Organic, which factors into the local, sustainable movement, has played an increasingly important o t p t 2 Health, sustainability, clean labels and community are increasingly important.

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