Eblex report makes recommendations to retailers

Retailers need to get it right in the aisles if they want to boost their meat sales, according to a new report, which reveals nearly half of all consumers make a decision at the fixture.

Appearance is key at the point of decision, the latest consumer report from Eblex reveals, with 31% of purchase decisions driven by how the product looks.

While 46% of shoppers will only make a choice when in the meat aisle, more worringly for the supermarkets, one in five or 17% of consumers will leave empty-handed if they are unable to find their first choice of product. Chris Leeman, trade sector manager for Eblex, said: “That’s a real wake-up call for the retailers and certainly something they need to keep an eye on.”

The report, entitled the Shopping Decision Process for Meat, updates work done more than 10 years ago by the former Meat and Livestock Commission, said Leeman, and featured in-store research at the point of purchase on 1,200 consumers across four of the big retailers. At the same time complementary conjoint online research surveyed 1,000 consumers about their meat buying intentions prior to shopping.

On average, consumers spend around 74 seconds in the meat aisle, although time spent depends on the product being purchased, with poultry taking 70 seconds, while lamb requires an average of 82 seconds. Leeman adds: “People looking for healthy products, or read to cook, usually spend more time, 160 seconds and 129 seconds respectively, possibly because they are newer categories, or they spend longer reading the labels.”

Another area flagged up by the report was in-store signage. Leeman said: “Post-purchase, around 51% of consumers recall seeing no signage in the meat aisles at all, and that’s a question for the retailers to consider: is their signage unmemorable, or do they simply not have any at all?”

The conjoint research has been used to create a consumer choice simulator, which can allow retailers to predict shopper behaviour by adjusting a number of variables, from reason for purchase to cut of meat. The simulator allows retailers to assess the customers propensity to buy one product over another.

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