Brief

When beef prices fizzle, grill use sizzles

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported commercial beef production is expected to be the highest since 2011, according to the Chicago Tribune.
  • USDA data shows the average steer price for 2016 was approximately $121 per hundred pounds of meat, the smallest since 2012 when it was nearly $123. The lower prices on beef should lead to an increase in barbecuing this summer.
  • The USDA said as beef supply has replenished in recent years, the decrease in cattle prices has outpaced the decline in retail beef. In 2016, the annual average for all fresh beef retail prices was about $5.73 per pound, significantly less than $6.03 in 2015 but still an increase of more than 22 percent from $4.69 in 2012 as retailers work to recoup profits they lost two years ago.

Dive Insight:

When beef prices go down, the amount of grilling that happens in a given year goes up, so the oversupply of beef should result in plenty of steak and hamburger cookouts this summer.

Meat processors including Tyson Foods, Cargill and JBS could benefit by seeing more demand for their products. This also is good news for many of the products that complement a barbecue, such as produce, dressings and beer. Retailers would be smart to cross merchandise these items together and market items as barbecue-friendly. 

The purchasing patterns of today's grocery shopper are changing in the meat aisle, according to FMI's "Top Findings of Power of Meat 2017" report. Price per pound has the greatest purchase influence on consumers, and 60% of shoppers check primary store promotions when shopping for meat products.

Steaks, burgers, chicken and sausages are among the most popular barbecued meat items according to the Food Network, although there are a plethora of different barbecue-themed websites that contain recipes for just about anything you can put on a grill. Consumers often share grilling tips and recipe ideas on Pinterest and other social media platforms during the warmer months, which also should spur sales.

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Filed Under: Manufacturing Corporate Meat / Protein
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