Consumers to Take on Higher Prices in the Meat Case This Summer

By Brian Earnest

April 27, 2022

Key Points

  • In 2021 the market for proteins witnessed a new type of consumer, one who is less sensitive to higher retail meat prices and more interested in at-home food preparation.
  • Demand for animal protein, particularly beef, has been exceptionally high since the onset of the pandemic, allowing producers to transfer the burden of higher input costs along to consumers.
  • The factors that elevated meat prices will continue in 2022, including high production costs, declining livestock numbers, and unpredictable consumer behavior.
  • Higher retail meat prices will continue through the rest of 2022. However, as U.S. consumers notice their dollar is not going as far as it used to, they are likely to “trade down” at the meat case, with chicken being the primary beneficiary.
  • Although smaller herds and flocks mean growth opportunity is minimal in all protein sectors, chicken may again be best positioned for expansion, albeit not to the degree that occurred from 2015 to 2019.

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