National Pork Board and the beef checkoff partner to demystify the meat case

Feb 22, 2013
by WLJ

—New URMIS nomenclature to be unveiled at the 2013 Annual Meat Conference.

Think consumers know all they need to know about meat cuts? Think again. Extensive research conducted by the National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program indicates that today’s consumers are as confused as ever when it comes to purchasing fresh meat. To drive purchase intent, retailers need to help consumers better understand how to shop for and prepare fresh cuts available in the grocery meat case. This cross-industry effort was established to increase consumer confidence by working to simplify common names for meat and create consistent, easy-to-follow preparation instructions.

The results of consumer research have culminated in changes to the Uniform Retail Meat Identification Standards (URMIS) nomenclature, the development of better on-pack label information and other educational tools, all designed to help retailers stimulate meat case sales. This new initiative will be presented at the 2013 Annual Meat Conference in a two-part educational session on Monday, Feb. 25.

“We believe this is a real game-changer for our industry,” said Patrick Fleming, director of retail marketing for the National Pork Board. “The update to URMIS nomenclature will be more consumer-friendly by removing redundancies and using familiar terms that are more consistent across multiple channels. Pork will specifically benefit by the ability to utilize some consumer-friendly beef nomenclature, allowing customers to recognize cut names more easily.”

“Our goal is to simplify the meat case, and consumers told us that consistency is key. We now have an aligned perspective and consumer-directed approach that will make it easier for shoppers to buy and prepare beef,” said Jim Henger, senior executive director of B2B Marketing for National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. Every beef farmer and rancher and every beef importer contributes to a fund called the beef checkoff, which is used to support retail merchandising efforts.

A two-part educational session at the 2013 Annual Meat Conference, “Demystifying the Meat Case for Today’s Confused Consumer.” will present solutions to help clear up consumer confusion with simplified fresh meat nomenclature. Part I will cover new qualitative and quantitative consumer research that identified key consumer issues with meat cuts and set the stage for the development of a more simplified, consumer-friendly URMIS. New cutting edge in-store and in-lab eye tracking research results will provide insights as to what draws consumers’ attention and motivates their fresh meat purchases. Online research results will provide insights into effective message development for shopper communication, point-of-sale and more. Part II will provide a detailed review of the new nomenclature and provide educational information and tools for putting it to use.

Beginning Feb. 25, the new URMIS nomenclature system will be available at Insights on merchandising opportunities will be available at and — WLJ