Understanding consumers from planning to plate

26 September 2018

Australian consumers have a wide variety of options at their disposal when considering which proteins to consume in a meal.

Understanding a consumer’s journey from ‘planning to plate’ is essential to meeting their requirements at all points along that journey. When do they decide what to have for their main meals, what influences their decision and how do they make their final choice?

Here Prices & Markets offers some insights from recent MLA consumer research.

When do consumers make their decisions?

Australian consumers plan for their main meals in a very short time frame. Only 1 in 4 pre-plan what main meals to serve in advance, with the majority of consumers deciding what to eat on the day or the day before. This means that ensuring red meat is perceived as easy to purchase and has a strong presence on the retail shelf is very important.

What influences buying decisions?

There are a range of factors that influence a consumer’s decision-making; however, what retailers promote in their store and catalogues are the top two factors influencing a shopper’s decision to buy red meat. Availability, assortment/range and special offers are all key drivers of what protein and which cut consumers will ultimately choose. MLA’s ongoing collaboration with retailers for in-store activations to help consumers choose Australian red meat is therefore critical.

How do consumers choose?

When considering a main meal as a whole, over half of consumers choose their protein type as the starting point, and this is much higher than other factors such as cooking method or cuisine style. At the same time, 40% of households buy ingredients without exactly knowing what they will cook. These insights help MLA shape promotional campaigns to offer consumers tips and recipes to make quick and easy meals, drawing on the versatility of red meat.

What are consumers’ key needs?

There are a number of trade-offs consumers make with each meal whether it’s hearty vs light, gourmet vs budget or complex vs easy. Consumers typically organise the various protein options within these parameters and consider which option can fulfil their needs for the particular occasion they are purchasing for.

How can red meat meet consumer’s needs?

Both beef and lamb have a variety of cuts that are compatible with a huge range of cooking options ranging from the gourmet experience (steaks/racks) to budget basics (mince/sausages) and everything in between. Far more than other protein types, red meat can cater for all different consumers, meal occasions and budgets.

For more information on the Australian market:

-          Australian beef snapshot can be found here

-          Australian lamb snapshot can be found here

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