The record high prices of beef over the past few years had a major impact on the make-up of the retail meat case, according to a new study from Sealed Air Corp. presented on Monday.
The most recent edition of the National Meat Case Study found that the percentage of beef packages and the percentage of beef pounds declined in both supermarkets and club food stores from 2010 to 2015.
At supermarkets, beef went from 25% of all meat packages in 2010 to 22% in 2015. A similar trend occurred in pounds of beef on display as a percentage of all meat, dropping from 21% to 17%.
The drop at club stores was even greater, where beef packages and beef pounds both fell 8% from 2010 to 2015. At the same time, ground beef packages rose 2% and ground beef pounds increased 3% in the club channel.
Beef also takes up a smaller proportion of shelf space in the meat case, dropping from 30% of linear feet on the shelf in 2004 to 26% in 2015. Conversely, shelf space for ground beef has grown from 12% of the meat case in 2004 to 15% in 2015.
Another major change is in the average number of SKUs for each category. From 2004 to 2015, the average meat case lost nine SKUs of beef and gained two SKUs of ground beef.
The 2015 study collected data from 114 retail stores in 35 markets in 24 states.