Perishables Buyer February 2013 : Page 36

COVERSTORY: DIGITAL AND RETAIL WHY WE ‘MEAT’ ONLINE D igital productivity and the overall inte-gration of the online realm into our ev-eryday lives have progressed unabated over the last decade. It’s staggering to conceptualize that the iPhone has only been on the market for just over 5 years, and the iPad is less than 3 years old. Th ese technologies are still new, but their rate of adoption by U.S. consumers has been staggering. While numbers continue to increase in terms of the overall U.S. population and regular use of the Internet and mobile digital devices, Millenials are some of the stron-gest users, with Paris-based Ipsos MediaCT fi nding in Oct. 2011 that affl uent U.S. consumers ages 18 to 29 are spending more than 40 hours a week online. Smartphone use is also quickly rising. BIGinsight, Worthington, Ohio, found in Aug. 2012 that 46.1% of U.S. consumers own a smartphone, up from 39.7% in 2011. Th e survey showed that tablet ownership more than doubled over that same timeframe, growing from 10.5% to 22.4%. And consum-ers are doing more than Facebooking and playing games with their devices. In Oct. 2012, Deloitte, New York, found that 70% of smartphone were planning to make holiday purchases with their digital devices. Suppliers, retailers and the myriad organizations that support the retail grocery industry are increasingly looking at how the digital realm is impacting—and will continue to impact (this is no fad…)—the bottom line, a pathway that’s not always direct and clearly tangible via ROI, but one that’s an increasingly vital segment of overall, big-picture marketing strategies. Th e National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa, recently conducted a survey of regular fresh pork users and found that 70% of these consumers visit a grocery retailer web-site at least once per week. Goals include helping them save money, along with improving their ability to plan shop-ping trips and make purchase decisions at the meat case. Other statistics from the survey include: • 54% are looking for sales and specials • 40% would like more information about fresh meat on retailer websites • 19% are looking for online coupons • 19% want recipes for side dishes to accompany meat, as well as wine pairings • 19% are looking for information on the origin of the meat • 13% are looking for details on how to cook and prepare their meat selections • 10% are looking for information on specifi c cuts of meat Mobile apps should also factor into online retail market-ing eff orts. According to the survey: • 62% of respondents have a smartphone • 41% would be interested in a retailer-based app, while 20% currently use retailer-based apps • 28% look up sales or deals while shopping • 21% look up recipes while shopping Although consumers seek a wide variety of perishable foods online—or through online-based tools—these days, these numbers take a notable jump when dialed down to meat: • 58% of respondents look up recipes when specifi cally shopping for fresh meat • 57% look up sales or deals when specifi cally shopping for fresh meat —DJP 36 February 2013 • Perishables Buyer

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