Americans ate a record amount of red meat and poultry in 2018 as demand remained strong, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Per capita consumption of red meat and poultry was estimated at 220 pounds, and the trend should continue.
The latest Beef Demand Index finds that consumer demand for beef at retail has improved nearly 15 percent since 2012, and consumers are expected to eat 9 percent more beef in 2019 than in 2015.
Supermarkets remain the primary place consumers buy their meat. But meat purchases at conventional supermarkets are declining slightly, as value and specialty supermarkets become more popular destinations to buy meat. There has also been an increased consumer willingness to buy meat online, but consumers still prefer to purchase it at retail – a trend likely to continue in 2019.
Food markets are keeping an eye on plant-based meat alternatives which are making inroads with consumers. In the 52 weeks ending Nov. 4, 2018, sales of plant-based meat alternatives grew 20 percent in both frozen and refrigerated sections, up to $798.6 million. Plant-based burger subcategories ranked high on the list of fastest-growing subsets and showed impressive growth at a rate of 21 percent to $257 million.
For more on this story and to hear about a Texas beef packing plant that is being auctioned off watch Drovers TV from AgDay in the video above.