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Meet Your New Boss: Part 5

Ceci Snyder, vice president of consumer marketing, National Pork Board

102803200 Ceci Synder
Ceci Synder

Every six months, we do a consumer tracking survey. Consumption skews slightly higher for boomers – but not by much. People who enjoy cooking eat the most pork, no matter their age.

There are four significant food trends we see.

World cuisine. Korean cuisine is gaining popularity, and we have developed national pork advertisements that include this cuisine.

Fewer food additives. Our marketing focuses on pork that is sold fresh, so this trend fits us pretty well, too.

Minority gains. We have rapidly growing populations of Latino, Asian, and African-American consumers. For many, pork is the preferred meat choice, so that’s working in our favor.

Premium products. There is a growing demand for some niche products, and producers are responding. Even large packers, for example, have programs to produce pork raised without antibiotics. We continually measure consumer attitudes about on-farm practices.

One new product demand we see is for a prime-type pork product with darker color, higher marbling, and other attributes. Some producers will provide the product and the genetics for this demand. It will be good for producers and consumers.

Patrick Archer, president, American Peanut Council

102803199 Patrick Archer
Patrick Archer

Nuts are a good source of plant-based protein, low in fat, low in carbs, and healthy. Peanuts are a very sustainable crop. They’re a legume and a great rotation crop. Yields have gone up, so we produce more peanuts with the same resources. Peanuts are not genetically modified. Those are all important things to millennial consumers especially.

Of all peanuts grown, 57% are sold as peanut butter. It’s not a highly processed product; we just grind them up and add a small amount of a stabilizing additive to prevent separation. We also have all-natural peanut butters with no additives.

Our biggest consumer challenge is peanut allergies. Farmers have spent over $10 million for research and education on that subject. 

Serena Schaffner, director of marketing communications, American Egg Board

102818321 Serena Schaffner
Serena Schaffner

We often see food trends start in restaurants and then impact at-home consumption. For instance, the growth of egg sandwiches at quick-serve restaurants has resulted in more consumers making them at home for a fast weekday breakfast. 

One of the most relevant food trends is consumers’ appetite for protein, especially at breakfast. There are benefits of eating protein throughout the day, rather than most of it at dinner. Eggs fit this trend with nothing artificial, which is also increasingly important to Americans. 

  • You can now find ready-to-eat hard-boiled eggs at many local retailers. This caters to busy, on-the-go consumers today. 
  • Consumers now have a variety of egg choices, such as cage-free and organic.
  • Per capita egg consumption is at a 30-year high.

Kevin Schooley, executive director, North American Strawberry Growers Association

102803198 Kevin Schooley
Kevin Schooley

Our members are mostly smaller growers offering pick-your-own service and roadside stands. We consider ourselves the original local producers. 

We went through a time when big growers from California were dominating retail strawberry sales, but the trends are switching back. Many of our growers now partner with grocers to provide local food to stock their shelves. We like this. Our growers are positioned to meet the rising demand for a fresh, local product.

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