The North American Meat Institute is seeking to reach Millennials where they spend a significant amount of their time — on their smartphones.
The Washington-based trade group on Tuesday unveiled a new mobile app that offers a guide to common meat cuts, complete with suggested recipes and cooking methods. It also contains explanations of label terms — such as “grass fed” and “antibiotic-free” — and offers information on food safety and nutrition.
“We want to help make shoppers more informed and confident purchasers of meat,” Eric Mittenthal, VP of public affairs at Washington-base NAMI, told SN. “Meat can be intimidating, particularly for younger shoppers who don’t have experience purchasing and cooking different cuts. There are so many options out there for any taste, and we want to help breakdown some of the barriers people have to trying a variety of meats and recipes.”
The NAMI is promoting the app through various media, including posts on Facebook and Instagram. The association is also seeking to get retailers on board.
“We have spoken with the Food Marketing Institute and National Grocers Association to make them aware of the app and plan to present it in more detail to their members in the coming months,” said Mittenthal. “The app would be a great resource for retailers to use within their meat department if they wanted to include it within a kiosk, for example.”
He said the NAMI is also open to the possibility of retailers leveraging the content from the app in their own mobile applications, or creating a branded version of the app with their own recipes and other company-specific content.
The content for the NAMI app is drawn from MyMeatUp.org, a meat information resource for retailers and consumers that NAMI launched last year.
The MyMeatUp app main screen is divided into four sections — one each for beef, veal, pork and lamb — and features illustrations and brief descriptions for each cut, along with links to cooking methods and recipes. The app includes a few turkey recipes, and Mittenthal said that NAMI could add more poultry content in the future if users ask for it.
Anne-Marie Roerink, founder at principal at research firm 210 Analytics and author of the 2016 Power of Meat report conducted for NAMI and FMI, said older consumers are more confident than Milllennials and Gen Xers when it comes to selecting meat.
“Rather than recipe cards in-store, the app delivers all the information Millennials crave, leveraging the platform they prefer,” she said, noting that more than 70% of Millennials “readily admit their meat knowledge is below par.”
“More than any other cohort, they seek recipes, production and ingredient information, and basic instructions on selection, cooking, proper temperatures and storage,” said Roerink. “This is not just about premium cuts or exotic meats; this includes some of the very basic questions.”
She stressed, however, in-person service also is important in the meat department.
“Knowledgeable, friendly and available meat associates can make a world of difference in the trip experience, spending and loyalty,” she said. “But beyond that, the app provides the perfect added layer when researching meat information at home or in the store, and I imagine retailers will happily tap into this resource as well.”