The nation’s eyes remain on money-saving measures, with 83 percent having made one or more changes to their grocery shopping habits. According to the Circana survey, 55 percent of grocery shoppers look for specials more often and 45 percent are cutting back on non-essentials. Private-brand interest remains strong, with 37 percent switching to own-brands more often. As consumers still shift their dollars across items, brands, sizes, stores and restaurants, Circana and 210 Analytics took a deep dive into the numbers in their October Report to understand the marketplace impact on meat and poultry trends.

October sales experienced substantial declines for pork, turkey and veal. Turkey sales are highly related to Thanksgiving purchases and different holiday purchase patterns over the past few years may move dollars closer into the holiday as consumers await sales promotions. Chicken was the only major protein gaining in pounds in both the shorter- and longer-term views.

      October 2023   Latest 52 weeks ending 10/29/2023
Type $ sales $ vs. YA Lbs vs. YA Type $ sales $ vs. YA Lbs vs. YA
Total fresh meat $4.4B -0.4% -3.8% Total fresh meat $57.7B +0.4% -1.1%
Fresh beef $2.4B +4.1% -3.4% Fresh beef $30.8B +0.5% -1.4%
Fresh chicken $1.2B -3.3% +0.2% Fresh chicken $15.8B +3.4% +1.4%
Fresh pork $511M -7.5% -10.1% Fresh pork $6.9B -5.4% -3.6%
Fresh turkey $197M -8.0% -13.6% Fresh turkey $2.9B +3.6% -4.4%
Fresh lamb $34M -3.8% -4.7% Fresh lamb $500M -7.5% -5.4%
Fresh exotic $9.3M +1.9% -4.5% Fresh exotic $122M +0.7% -4.9%
Veal $3.6M -16.8% -12.9% Veal $47M -12.2% -9.0%

Source: Circana, Integrated Fresh, MULO

What’s Next?

Looking toward the Thanksgiving and December holiday season, the majority of consumers expect to celebrate in similar fashion as they did last year. This includes similar expectations for the size and nature of home-cooked meals for family and friends. While unit pressure has had a profound impact on grocery sales for the past two years, holidays are an important reason to include more premium items and treats — underscoring the importance of suggestive selling in-store, online and utilizing social media.