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Great challenges of the meat sector

Early last March, the AECOC (Spanish Manufacturers and Distributors Association) conference on Meat and Manufactured Products took place in Lleida (Spain), where industry professionals from across the country were brought together. Among the conclusions garnered from this event we can highlight the importance of honesty and transparency as core values for the meat sector businesses in order to reach the consumer, the relevance of working with quality products so that we can satisfy the ever-more demanding consumer, and the significance of offering a distinction bonus because “people buy the best versions of the products”.

The new consumer:  Millennials

In this regard, we can define the new consumer – the Millennial – as a highly qualified, hyper‑informed digital customer.  Millennials prefer to eat meat less often, fewer times a week, but when they do they choose high quality meat.

The so-called Millennials – those between the ages of 18 and 34 – currently represent a generation of more than eight million people in Spain.

A generation of people who are constantly looking for options to improve their food choices and who prefer quality over quantity for the products they purchase. Millennial is synonymous with an over‑informed and analyst consumer. Additionally, Millennials make up a generation of digital natives. Their preferred communication format is the video, while the channel is the Internet. For Millennials, social media have become their one and only way of communicating, which is why influencers are the means to get to them.

New consumption patterns

In the same vein Ken Hughes, one of the world leaders in consumer behaviour analysis, discussed how consumers are establishing new consumption patterns and, consequently, sector companies must renew and adapt ourselves to them.

Hughes talked about a new consumer: impatient, demanding, knowing at all times what they want and therefore, expecting companies to be at their service and offer what they need.

Achieving good results will depend to a large extent on the strengthening of the economic climate, as well as on the strategies we implement to secure the future.

At Frigoríficos Bandeira we consider key the following four major working areas:

  1. Focus on the consumer. Keeping close to the consumers and engaging in dialogue with them is essential to determine which products they demand and thereby being able to meet their needs. For this reason, we will continue placing the customer at the heart of everything we do.
  2. Health and quality. Today consumers do not consider anything but the healthiest option. At Frigoríficos Bandeira we will maintain our strong commitment to quality.
  3. Digital transformation. Already a part of our company’s development. Constant changes, both in our industry and in society in general, require us to be quicker and more dynamic in adapting to a new reality while simultaneously seizing the opportunities provided by the digital world.

Nowadays the emerging market trends in the meat sector are being influenced by three clear demands: convenience, health and sustainability. Thus it is paramount to be able to present products free from allergens and additives in response to a new food culture focused on the consumer’s health, as well as to offer products of remarkable quality and exceptional flavour – those called “premium“.

The 18th AECOC Conference on Meat and Manufactured Products closed with the words of Juan Carlos San José, president of AECOC’s Meat Committee, who reminded the attendees that in a scenario defined by digital transformation, the future of the meat sector depends on the collaborative work of all the links in the chain in order to offer quality and a sustainable production model.

We need to keep pondering so that together we can find answers to the challenges we face in the meat industry, and we need to continue exploring avenues for collaboration.

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