The Importance of Meat Packaging to Reduce Shrink & Increase Profits

Case Ready Meat Case Study

As a retailer, you know the ongoing challenges of moving fresh meat through the supply chain: crushed or damaged corrugated boxes can damage your meat products and chip away at your profits.

In fact, the most recent USDA estimates indicate that retailers can expect an average fresh meat shrink rate of about 12%* – a high loss figure for products that you’re already fighting to keep at a decent margin.

Shrink can be a significant issue for grocers because “meat is the biggest of the perimeter departments and one of the most important ones for driving customer loyalty and competitive advantages,” according to the 2018 Power of Meat study conducted by FMI and the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Education & Research.

What if there was a better way to transport case-ready meat?

Tosca’s reusable plastic containers (RPCs) are creating a smarter way to move fresh meat, resulting in significant savings through reduced shrink and greater supply chain efficiencies.

Based on a recent conversion by a national grocery retailer, Tosca’s RPCs were able to reduce shrink by 1% which is a cost savings of more than a million dollars.  If you’re wondering how the math works – we’ll explain. If a Top 50 retailer who annually sells 20 million pounds of USDA Choice case ready beef at $5.86/lb** saves 1% of that volume (200,000 lb) in reduced shrink using RPCs, the cost savings is 200,000 x $5.86 = $1,172,000. And, that number could be higher if your sales volume is greater.

In addition to the shrink savings, there are other benefits to packaging meat in Tosca RPCs:

  • Work smarter – RPCs maintain their stacking position throughout the supply chain and reduce labor costs by up to 20%, as measured with Tosca retail partners. Instead of opening or breaking down corrugated boxes, employees can service customers.
  • Lower your environmental impact – RPCs reduce waste and help you meet your sustainability goals. One RPC saves approximately one pound of corrugated from entering the supply chain. Prevent waste versus managing it.
  • Keep safety first – To demonstrate our commitment to providing food safe reusable packaging, Tosca proactively achieved third-party certification to one of the world’s most stringent food safety management standards, ISO 22000.
  • Increase transportation efficiencies – A standardized RPC footprint allows for improved cube efficiency and more case ready meat on every truck. Our nationwide network of 14 wash centers allows us to move containers efficiently through the supply chain and shortens the distance containers need to travel.

There’s no reason you should accept high levels of shrink because of less-effective shipping materials. Give the box the boot and convert to RPCs to help you protect your product quality and your bottom line.

*United States Department of Agriculture. Updated Supermarket Shrink Estimates for Fresh Foods and Their Implications for ERS Loss-Adjusted Food Availability Data, June 2016

**Average USDA Choice beef retail price for July – December 2017. Source: USDA

To learn more about the value of reusables for shipping case ready meat, click here to download our case study.

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