Enhancing Quality and Consistency: Insights from the National Retail Benchmarking Study

The National Retail Benchmarking study aims to improve the position of pork in the market by focusing on the quality and consistency of pork, as well as various meat case metrics.

Click to Watch: Enhancing Quality and Consistency: Insights from the National Retail Benchmarking Study

Improvements in Pork Quality and Consistency

Over the years, the retail benchmarking study has identified significant improvements in the consistency and quality of pork. Through rigorous data collection and analysis, the project team has been able to track the progress made in the industry. In particular, a 2x increase in the consistency of subjective color scores since 2018. In 2022, approximately 60% of the evaluated pork products have a color score of 3 or better, indicating better eating quality.

Tender and Juicy Pork

Tenderness and juiciness are attributes that greatly influence the flavor of pork. The benchmarking study shows a considerable increase in the tenderness of pork products, with a significant amount falling into the “very tender” category, demonstrating the return on efforts made by pork producers and processors to enhance the eating experience.

Cook Loss

The survey also examines cook loss, which is the amount of moisture lost during cooking. A notable improvement was observed in the percentage of pork products with low cook loss, indicating increased water-holding capacity. These positive findings reinforce the tenderness observed in the data.

Opportunities for Growth

The data collected through the National Retail Benchmarking study provides valuable insights that can shape the future of the pork industry. The study identified opportunities for growth, such as the increasing popularity of ground pork. This presents an avenue for the entire pork industry to capitalize on this growing trend. Also, focusing on the loin complex offers a significant opportunity to add value and elevate the status of this portion of the carcass.

What’s Next: The Pork Loin Complex Task Force

Recognizing the importance of the loin complex, NPB is activating a dedicated task force to explore various aspects related to the role of pork in the market, consumer preferences, labeling, cooking methods and more. By taking a deep dive into the loin complex, this task force will work to create a comprehensive strategy to increase both volume and value.

Building Volume and Value

The National Retail Benchmarking study and the Loin Complex Task Force represent a commitment to the long-term growth of the pork industry. By setting ambitious goals and implementing test and learn strategies, the industry can address challenges and leverage opportunities. This multi-year approach recognizes that building volume and value requires innovative thinking, collaboration across the value chain and a focus on consumer needs while demonstrating the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement and positioning pork as the protein of choice in the retail meat case.

Take a deeper dive into the Retail Benchmarking Study by watching the Pork Academy Session, Proving the Industry’s Chops: Tackling a 30-year Challenge.