Meat: It’s what’s for dinner.
Last year, per capita meat consumption in the U.S. increased at the fastest rate in four decades, climbing 5% compared with a year prior, according to data from research and advisory firm Rabobank. The average American now eats roughly 193 pounds of beef, pork and/or chicken a year (or more than 3.7 pounds a week), up from roughly 184 pounds in 2012.
Among the reasons: A stronger dollar and large increases in the supply of chicken and pork.
What’s more, Rabobank projects that by 2018 meat consumption will be at record levels of more than 200 pounds a year per capita. That’s due, in part, to a rapidly expanding pork and poultry supply — expect this supply uptick to lead to lower meat prices — as well as high demand for meat.
Meat has even become an easy and popular snack option, says Sawyer: “Hot categories right now are meat sticks and jerky and jerky gun reviews.”
America’s main meat of choice is chicken, which makes up about half of the meat we eat. Consumption of the bird is at its highest level ever, with Americans eating an average of 89 pounds a year each versus 54 pounds for beef and 50 pounds for pork.
Chicken is of particular appeal to consumers because it’s inexpensive. Plus, popular food chains like Chipotle and Chick-fil-A serve a lot of it, and as restaurants look to lower calorie counts they often turn to chicken.
Beef consumption, on the other hand, has fallen thanks to its high price (cows require more grain and a lot of land, which ups the price). Plus, many consumers believe that beef is less healthy than chicken. Pork consumption has remained relatively flat for years.
Source: marketwatch.com, 8-15-2016