According to the 2019 Power of Meat Report, compiled by the Food Marketing Institute, Washington, D.C., and Foundation for Meat & Poultry Education & Research, Washington, D.C., eating meat is still the norm, with 86% of shoppers classifying themselves as meat eaters, 5% following a vegetarian or vegan diet and 10% describing their eating style as flexitarian.

However, the report finds consumers are becoming conscious of the effects their diet has on the environment. While some shoppers choose to abstain from eating meat, most consumers are finding ways to keep meat in their diets in a more sustainable manner.

Shopping for sustainable meats

In the minds of shoppers, choosing to eat meat in a more sustainable way allows them to do their part for the planet. According to the study, shoppers’ desire to know more about meat and poultry raising/production practices and product ingredients is driving growth for meat. As more consumers learn the facts about how meat affects their health and the environment, more want to know where their meat is coming from. Currently, the highest growth in dollar size is seen for meat with organic and grass-fed claims.

Meat industry sustainability efforts

To meat industry communities, sustainability initiatives comprise not only environmental considerations, but also social and economic effects. That’s why the North American Meat Institute, Washington, D.C., will launch a sustainability initiative focused on driving continuous improvement toward environmental, animal welfare, food safety, labor and human rights and health and wellness goals over the next decade.