Thursday, December 22, 2011

Where's the Beef: U.S. beef consumption in decline

For the past decade, cattle ranchers and meat packers watched with despair as America's beef consumption steadily declined, ceding ground to leaner meats as well as vegetarian trends among the health-conscious. Most recently, high unemployment in the world's wealthiest nation had cash-strapped Americans avoiding restaurants where beef is a common entree and had them switching to lower cost non-meat dishes at home. USDA estimates 2011 U.S. per capita beef consumption at 57.4 lbs, down 13 percent from 10 years ago and down about 25 percent from 1980. In 2012, USDA predicts, Americans will eat 54.1 lbs of beef on average. The beef industry is coping with these changes by developing new cuts that will satisfy appetites for steaks but at a lower cost. Also, it has benefited from a huge recovery in beef exports particularly to Asia and Russia, where consumers are upgrading their diets and concerns about mad cow disease fade. Beef companies, like Tyson Foods, JBS, Cargill, and National Beef, are carving up beef carcasses in interesting new ways. Carcass portions that were once meant for ground meat or roasts, such as rounds and chucks, are now sliced into cheaper cuts of steaks for the American palate...more


Anonymous said...

A decline in beef consumption? Take a look at the price of beef and tell me that story again.

drjohnr said...

Hopefully there will be a lot of high quality horse meat available to fill the gap, chock full of proteins, vitamins and minerals, and no, not ever, mad cow disease. So what are we waiting for? xmas?

Frank DuBois said...

drjohnr's stocking stuffer.