A new tool that promises to help retailers improve their meat offers - and reduce the 17% of shoppers who don’t buy because they can’t find the cut they want - has been unveiled by Eblex.

Retailers can use the software to create alternative meat purchase “scenarios” to inform their category management.

By setting 10 simulator parameters, they can find out how many male shoppers are more likely to buy a beef steak than a lamb steak if both were stocked, for instance. Using the answers, they can tailor the ratio of beef steak to lamb steak that they stock in individual stores to maximise sales.

The simulator would allow Eblex to work with retailers and processors to model and establish likely consumer purchase intentions, helping them to fine-tune their offer, Eblex claimed in its Shopping Decision Process For Meat report.

“The complexity involved in analysing the differences in the relative importance shoppers attach to the choices available to them makes it such a fascinating and potentially powerful tool,” it added.

The simulator was built using research analysis of an online survey carried out on 1,000 shoppers last summer.

The report also contains new research into the shopper decision-making process, carried out in the meat aisle of four of the multiples.

In the survey, 17% said they would not buy any meat if their preferred cut was unavailable, 35% said they would buy the same cut of a different species and 30% a different cut of the same species.