Research conducted by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has detailed how an increase in time-poor consumers has led to a rise in demand for pre-packed lunch and dinner dishes, particularly ones that contain meat products.
Particularly in Asia, this growth in demand has happened at the same time that consumers crave more premium and imported offerings.
USMEF president and CEO Dan Halstrom said this is providing an opportunity for US producers. To help capitalise on the growth, the USMEF uses funding from the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), the Beef Checkoff Program and the National Pork Board to promote US beef and pork abroad.
“Just as important as promoting existing products, we are developing brand new ideas for packaged meals and protein snack items featuring US beef and pork that fit well with consumer trends in each individual market,” he said. “USMEF recognizes the scope of this opportunity and the enormous demand that is driving it. As the convenience store sector has taken off in various parts of the world, suppliers realize they need products to help meet the demand for these meat snacks and packaged meals. The trend is toward high-quality meat, and that is definitely an advantage for US beef and pork.”
Citing Euromonitor research, USMEF outlined how spending in the retail channel has grown. Globally, per capita spending on foodservice products at convenience stores increased 14% worldwide between 2013 and 2018 and is projected to increase another 11% by 2023. South Korea has led the way, experiencing 142% increase in per capita convenience store foodservice spending from 2013 to 2018 with another 47% increase projected by 2023.
Halstrom warned that it’s not just the US that can capitalise. “Obviously there is tremendous potential for US beef and pork in the convenience store sector, but competition is intense, so we must focus our efforts on identifying ways to highlight the advantages of US products,” he said. “The quality and consistency that US beef and pork deliver in processed products are really what set us apart. USMEF staff on the ground in these markets are doing a great job of conveying this message to distributors and their clientele, and this puts more U.S. beef and pork at the center of the world’s convenience store offerings.”