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Case ready meat packaging helps retailers increase assortment while reducing labor costs

Case ready meat offerings cut down on waste and labor for retailers and give shoppers an easy solution for tonight’s dinner or stocking the freezer.

3 min read


Case ready meat packaging helps retailers increase assortment while reducing labor costs

Image: Tyson Fresh Meats

This post is sponsored by Tyson Fresh Meats.

Meat products that come pre-packaged offer a convenient solution for retailers that lets the meat department offer more options for consumers while cutting down on labor and waste.

“Case ready products can increase retailers’ assortment and sales,” said Kent Harrison, vice president of marketing & premium programs at Tyson Fresh Meats, adding that they have the potential to reduce shrink and out-of-stocks.

More choice at the case, less labor in the back room

Case ready meats allow retailers to increase assortment without making more work for the meat department since everything is pre-cut and packaged. No cutting in store eliminates the risk of creating waste while trimming and portioning. 

The packaging for Open Prairie Natural* Meats case ready meats includes the net weight and use-by date, “which means the meat department can spend less time cutting, trimming and packing meat,” Harrison said. “The product also comes in lighter cases, making it easier to stock shelves.”

The time savings for store employees means they can reallocate their time to customer service. Tyson Fresh Meats considered which cuts are most popular with consumers when designing the Open Prairie Natural Meats case ready line. 

“We wanted items that consumers would be familiar with, such as pork chops or ribeye steaks, while trying to meet a price point that would encourage consumers to try a new product or make case ready a regular part of their shopping selection,” Harrison said.

Maximum freshness, freezer-ready

Another advantage of case ready meats is increased shelf life, thanks to the vacuum-sealed packaging.

Open Prairie Natural case ready beef boasts a total shelf life of 28 days, with a minimum shelf life of 20 days at delivery, Harrison said. Pork has a total shelf life of 24 days with a minimum shelf life of 16 days at delivery.

For consumers, this increased shelf life can translate to freshness and quality. In fact, a quarter of consumers surveyed believe that case ready meats are better quality than meat packaged in the store, according to the 2018 Power of Meat report by The Food Industry Association. 

Rollstock packaging has the added benefit of being able to go straight into the freezer, which is a priority for many shoppers. Sixty-two percent of consumers expressed an interest in their meat department offering more vacuum-sealed, freezer-ready packaging, according to The Power of Meat 2019 report.   

The ability to offer freezer-ready packaging is especially important now as consumers are cooking more meals at home and stocking up on larger grocery orders — both in-store and online. More than half (60%) of shoppers who buy meat said they plan to freeze it more often than normal, a March 2020 study by Midan Marketing found.

“Case ready meat is consistent, and customers can rely on the product to deliver the same quality and portion size each time they order it,” Harrison said. “The vacuum-sealed packaging is leak-free, which helps minimize messes and extends freshness.” 

Learn more about the benefits of case ready meats and the Open Prairie Natural Meats case ready offering.

*Minimally processed. No artificial ingredients.