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US consumers to pay higher prices for meat this summer

02 May 2022

CoBank

As prices increase, consumers likely to purchase more chicken

According to CoBank, US consumers can expect to pay more for meat this summer. In a recent report, the private rural credit lender said the market for proteins witnessed a new type of consumer in 2021, 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, which has allowed producers to transfer the burden of higher input costs along to consumers, said the report. 

Elevated meat prices will continue in 2022, said CoBank, as will high production costs, declining livestock numbers, and unpredictable consumer behaviour.

Higher retail meat prices will also continue through the rest of 2022. However, as US consumers notice their dollar not going as far as it used to, they are likely to “trade down” at the meat case, with chicken being the primary beneficiary, said CoBank.

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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