The retail landscape has, and always will be, a competitive one regardless of your industry. One way to navigate the changing marketplace is to return to the basics. It can be said that people shop at a specific location for one or more of the following three reasons:
A preferred retailer is either easy to get to, has the best price, or has specific products that their customers want.
The lamb market
Right now, lamb is usually not top of mind for most retailers or the bulk of consumers. For many of the retailers we work with at SunGold, lamb sales currently account for 2-4% of the meat department’s business.
However, this is changing.
There are two important reasons to take another good look at the lamb segment in retail. Firstly, it offers solid points of differentiation for a retailer. Secondly, it is primed and ready to capitalize on consumer trends for new experiences.
The best customers have lamb on their shopping list
In the battle with proximity, price, or product, it is often just the products that a category manager has effective control over. Lamb is a meat with a higher price point and is often sought out by customers that don’t mind spending more on quality products. Feedback from our retail base indicates that when a customer’s shopping basket contains lamb, it also contains other up-market items throughout the store, resulting in a higher overall spend.
Our research in both U.S. and Canadian markets has shown that the lamb category represents an opportunity for retailers to differentiate. Our commitment to providing products that match consumer values has given our retail partners success in the marketplace. The results can be shown through our category sales with a national Canadian retailer placed in comparison to the average US category share.
However, these graphs also reveal certain areas for growth in multiple categories in both markets.
As a leading lamb supplier, we work with some of the best lamb retailers in the world and have observed that maintaining a first class lamb category that is also value-aligned is advantageous to bringing in customers that intentionally seek out a premium shopping experience. We strongly suggest that category managers analyze the spending behaviour of customers who purchase lamb; it is likely very worthwhile to attract more visits from this segment.
Lamb: not just any other red meat
People enjoy new experiences – especially those that are wrapped in familiar packages. For ice-cream lovers today, there is a world of new gelato and frozen yogurt flavours to try. For those that love pizza, the food industry has concocted a number of different “pizza-esque” variations made of every kind of food. However, for the meat lover, the standard meat counter can often leave one wanting.
For the basic meat counter filled with the three most common proteins – beef, pork, and chicken, lamb is the perfect opportunity to provide a new value-add product for your customers. Lamb makes for a great eating experience and is one of the healthiest red-meat options available. A smaller industry size compared to the big 3 is also an advantage among consumers who want to know where their lamb came from, whether the animals were raised ethically, and if they were processed humanely.
Offering a diverse selection of high quality meats like lamb will appeal to the meat lover that likes to BBQ, impress friends, or have quality food experiences at home. They seek variety, new experiences, and enjoy discovering new foods to try. Everyone has a go-to store that they rely on for a great meat selection.
Beyond the BBQ
The experience of eating a great meat doesn’t start and end on your plate. It occurs at every touchpoint before and after the purchase including the grocery store, the meat aisle, product selection, cooking, and then finally eating. Therefore, it is essential for both SunGold and our retail partners to do their respective parts to ensure that each and every touchpoint is a delight for the meat-loving customer.
SunGold is a leading supplier of lamb in North America.
SunGold is committed to providing the cuts, portions, and quality of meat that consumers desire. Retailers, for their part, will display a variety of lamb products, a fair price range, continuously stocked product, and knowledgeable staff – all leading to a satisfied repeat customer. In this way, regardless of each retailer’s strength (proximity, price, or product), their meat department sales flourish, customers are pleased, and the global lamb market continues to grow.