Food + Beverage News

2019 SEMA Convention Takeaways

2019 SEMA Convention Takeaways


The Southeastern Meat Association (SEMA) is an organization comprised of people, firms, and corporations who are meat and/or poultry packers, processors or distributors, and firms furnishing services or supplies to the packers, processors, and distributors. One of the goals of SEMA is to provide its members with timely information about any issues or developments affecting the meat and poultry industry. Our team had the pleasure of attending the 2019 SEMA Convention in the beginning of June. We were able to build great relationships and learn more about the current landscape of the industry. Below are key takeaways from the convention.
Growth of Plant-Based Foods
Over the past ten years, there has been significant growth in plant-based foods. More than $16 billion has been invested in this market from 2009-2018. It has been said that “the farmer and the cowman should be friends”. With the Plant-Based Foods Association currently having 34 U.S. plant-based meat members, it is being found on the consumer side that there is no longer as much of an argument on plant-based versus meat; it is now plant-based and meat. The reason behind this is that these foods are not just for vegetarians or vegans anymore. People who are not vegetarian will eat both these plant-based foods and meats.
63% of consumers already buy or would consider buying plant-based alternatives.1 The target market for these products is younger consumers as baby boomers are scaling back on their food purchases. These young consumers are looking for convenient, value-added foods that can also be purchased frozen and these products help to fulfill that need. Due to the heavy use of social media by this audience, that continues to be the primary channel for selling these products. As this market continues to grow, it will no longer be an either-or when it comes to meat, but a both-and.  
Charcuterie Trends
The U.S. meat market is dominated by jerky-style products. In fact, jerky is responsible for 42% of meat snack consumption. The traditional marketing focus for these snacks is on mass quantity and mass consumption. They come in large packages, with large pieces, and bold flavors. The average consumer is an 18-34 year old male who uses these products in combination with other healthy foods such as nuts and dried fruits.
The equipment for the production of these meat snacks is an important part of the equation. Key pieces of equipment include continuous ovens, modern drying rooms, environmental chambers, and water activity meters. This will continue to become more important as the market for meat snacks is growing.
How have these trends been affecting your business?

Source 1: Meatingplace

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