Father’s Day typically provides a boost to national beef sales, but this year’s bump was called “astounding” by analyst Anne-Marie Rorink, 210 Analytics.
Meat department sales as a whole were strong the week ending June 21, Father’s Day weekend, but beef sales in particular stood out. According to Roerink, even with purchase limitations still in place at some stores, elevated prices and re-opening of restaurants, beef sales gains for the week were 31.9%. The week ending June 21 also marks the 15th week of double-digit gains since the pandemic.
Beef volume sales also jumped 13.5% over the same week a year ago, the highest volume gain since the second week of May.
“Despite this increase, the gap between dollar gains and volume growth set a new record, at 18.4 percentage points,” Roerink said. “In part, Father’s Day spending may have driven the purchase of higher end items, as evidenced by the high dollar share of beef. But above all, prices remained highly elevated from the year prior.”
Year-to-date through June 21, meat department dollar sales were up 24.4%, boasting double-digit growth for the months of March, April and May, according to IRI, a data research and analytics firm.
“This reflects an additional $6.9 billion sold versus the same time period in 2019,” Roerink said. “Year-to-date volume sales through June 21 were up 15.6% over the same period in 2019, reflecting an additional 1.28 billion pounds of meat and poultry sold versus the same time period in 2019.”
According to the wave 13 results of the IRI consumer sentiment survey, 20% of consumers ran into out of stocks when looking to purchase meat and/or poultry Father’s Day week. Instead of their intended meat/poultry purchase, 38% used the meat/poultry they already had stored in the freezer, 31% bought a different type of meat instead, 24% went back to the same retailer another day to buy it and 23% instead went to another retailer to buy the meat/poultry they had intended to buy.
Additionally, 57% of those who bought seafood said they did so because of limited meat availability. These statistics clearly underscore the impact out-of-stocks can have, from losing a purchase to another type, brand or retailer to losing out on the purchase altogether.