Meat Business Women: Highlights


Last week some of our JJ ladies attended Meat Business Women – a networking event designed to unite and inspire females working in the meat sector. Following positive feedback from a trial event held in March, the event made a return at the historic Ironmongers’ Hall in London.

Organiser Laura Ryan said, “It can be a bit daunting in any new industry so having a new networking group that allows you to do that is really important.” The meat sector is not always the number one choice for graduates, school leavers, or for women, so the event showcased the industry as a great place to work in while nurturing new female talent.

The programme featured presentations on industry trends from research consultancy Kantar and a hugely inspiring presentation from former BBC news correspondent Kate Adie. Here are a few key messages from the day:

Discounters offer opportunities – One of the most important growth areas in retail is the discounters, demonstrated by Aldi over taking Waitrose at the start of the year to become the UK’s sixth largest supermarket. More than 53% of households are now using the discounters.

Changes in shopping missions – There is a growing requirement for convenience – today we spend just 31 minutes on average preparing dinner compared with 60 minutes in 1980. Top up shopping is not as big as the press has suggested, up just 3% in the past seven years, as a result, shoppers are willing to pay premium prices for the ‘for tonight’ mission, which as a category is up 16% over the past five years. 43% of Brits now eat in front of the TV and the meat industry can capitalise by offering more ready-to-cook options.

Healthy options are key – Health is becoming increasingly important as we come out of a recession. It’s not about calorie-counting and low fat, instead it’s more about fresh, wholesome and nutritional options. There is a big opportunity to improve the nutritional value of ready meals for elderly people with now more than 26% of those aged 65 and over eating microwave meals.

News correspondent Kate Adie inspired delegates with incredible anecdotes on how she progressed her role at the BBC from local news to being an international news correspondent. She said that the biggest revolution in the past 50 years has been women gaining their rights as citizens.

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