(PRNewswire) "Beef. It's what's for dinner." The marketing mantra rang true in 2018 as beef prices remained strong, according to the latest retail sales data from IRI/Freshlook. The marketing research firm stated that beef demand is up 15 percent since 2012.
Strong consumer beef demand is expected to continue into 2019, with the USDA predicting consumers in the United States will eat 8.9 percent more beef this year than in 2015. Much of beef's demand is driven by ground beef and loin cuts. Apparently, not only are consumers eating more beef, but they are also enjoying more high-quality beef. This is due to more cattle in the U.S. herd grading higher than ever before.
"Cattle farmers and ranchers, and the entire beef industry, have worked particularly hard during the past 10 years to produce higher-quality beef, and that work is clearly paying off with increased consumer demand," said Bridget Wasser, Executive Director of Meat Science & Supply Chain Outreach for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "We're seeing demand for USDA Choice and Prime beef grow."
Beef demand isn't only strong at retail. Ninety-seven percent of food service establishments report having beef on the menu. With beef supply on the upswing and consumer demand increasing, the beef industry is gaining momentum, and this trend looks to show no signs of slowing down in 2019.