Animal antibiotics sales on the rise, despite shifts in consumer sentiment

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published its annual report on sales and distribution data for antibiotics used in food-producing animals, according to a news release.
  • Sales and distribution of all antibiotics posted a 1% increase from 2014 through 2015, which ties for the lowest annual increase since 2009.
  • Antibiotics considered medically important in human medicine saw a 2% uptick in that time period.

Dive Insight:

Despite increasing demand for antibiotic-free meat products, the FDA continues to report rising sales of antibiotics for food animals. Manufacturers have met those demands with introductions of new antibiotic-free product lines, but they haven't necessarily stopped producing their usual portfolio of meat products made from animals raised using antibiotics.

Several major manufacturers have committed to cutting back their antibiotics usage. This would seem to drive antibiotics sales down, but according to the FDA's report, that's not the case.

However, these figures are only through 2015, and manufacturers are still determining how to implement some of these antibiotics-reduction developments through this year. Also notable is that this is the lowest annual antibiotics increase in several years. This may signal how consumers' sentiments could impact sales in the future.

Filed Under: Food Safety Meat / Protein