The British pig industry was given a tough must try harder' message by a supermarket chiefs at the World Pork Congress in Birmingham.
Pork was failing to appeal to customers looking for convenience and a healthy diet, said Colin Smith, Tesco's commercial director.
The industry faced a twin challenge.
Customers were looking for meal ideas that fitted in with their changing lifestyles and enhanced eating quality.
Meanwhile, suppliers were being urged to "deliver what we order and deliver it on time".
His formula for success was: listen to your customers, get cheaper, improve the supply chain, extend shelf life and last, but by no means least, innovate.
However, industry technical consultant Chris Warkup, director of the Genesis Faraday Partnership, argued that the industry was doing a pretty fair job in responding to consumer messages.
Much of the problem lay in the "logical inconsistencies" of British consumers, mirrored by supermarket buyers, where expressed wants were not turned into purchasing realities.
"Consumers might say they are worried by some welfare aspects of pig production, or the inclusion of genetically modified material in their feed, but this is not necessarily reflected in their buying patterns," he said.
Real progress could be made by exploiting the full genetic potential of the pig.
This would produce a win-win situation for the whole industry, with improved growth rates, meat quality and tenderness, he added.
Meanwhile, delegates to the congress made it clear the greatly diminished British pig industry faced a tough uphill struggle.
World importers such as Russia and China were intent on improving their self sufficiency while major exporters like Denmark, North America and particularly Brazil made it clear that they were aiming to at least maintain, or more likely expand, their global market share.