Guidance in the Meat and Seafood Department – From Confusion to Confidence
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
If you ask consumers about their comfort level in the meat department you’ll hear a variety of responses with most comments centered around their confusion. From what cuts of beef to use in recipes to how to store seafood, shoppers are looking for guidance that helps move them from confusion to confidence when purchasing and preparing tasty and nutritious meals that include meat, poultry and seafood.
An informal survey asking shoppers what a supermarket could do to help them navigate the meat/seafood department resulted in the following responses:
- Provide simple cooking demos
- Offer basic knowledge about what cuts of meat to choose for common recipes – kabobs, roasts, fajitas, etc.
- Would love knowledgeable and approachable employees
- Need to know how to properly store, freeze and thaw items
- Please provide quick and easy tips and recipes on cards or links to videos
Helping shoppers develop confidence in the meat/seafood department will drive increased sales and loyalty as they experience success with product selection, safe storage techniques and easy recipe preparation. Below are some ideas for helping customers navigate this department with confidence, excitement and gratitude:
- Meet with meat/seafood leadership to offer your services for providing training to meat department employees to discuss consumers’ seasonal needs. This could be done in-person or via a brief webinar depending on your retailer. Use the time to discuss shoppers’ seasonal food behaviors and talk about ways to engage with customers to provide guidance on product selection and resources for easy meals.
- Provide easy, nourishing recipes and experiment with different delivery options. Instore demos or videos, online recipes and menu plans, recipe cards, meat bunker meal solutions, etc. Ensure educational resources are vibrant, clear, and accessible for shoppers.
- Partner with state beef or pork associations, and national seafood or poultry alliances who have your passion for educating consumers about their products. Utilize their abundance of resources on product selection, preparation and nutritional attributes to add to your educational selling toolbox.
- Use social media to offer tips, recipes, and nutritional highlights for specific sale products or seasonal products. Vendor partners can provide resources to make your job easier. For example: 6 quick and easy recipes with ground turkey; best steaks for grilling with tips for seasoning; 3 fall slow cooker meals with chicken; basic tips for cooking seafood.
By actively educating and engaging with employees and shoppers in the meat/seafood department, you can add significant value that combats consumer confusion and drives business success!