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More consumers regularly consuming products derived from animals

Millennials are more likely to have consumed pork chops, chicken breasts or beef steaks in the prior week.

Ann Hess

September 1, 2023

3 Min Read
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U.S. consumers were willing to pay more for ribeye steak, shrimp and plant-based patties at retail in August compared to July, while their willingness-to-pay at food service increased across all evaluated proteins. The combined beef and pork projected market shares for August are 33% and 20%, respectively at the grocery store, and 41% and 16% at the restaurant.

“From a month-over-month perspective it appears folks ate out more in August than July leading to elevated demand; perhaps partial budget adjustment from at-home to away-from-home food expenditures,” says Glynn Tonsor, professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University and author of the monthly Meat Demand Monitor.

Launched in February 2020, the MDM project is funded in-part by Beef Checkoff and Pork Checkoff and tracks U.S. consumer preferences, views and demand for meat with separate analysis for retail and food service channels. The monthly survey is conducted online with more than 2,000 respondents reflecting the national population.

The August MDM also saw a 2% jump in regular consumers of products derived from animal protein. Seventy-two percent of respondents declared themselves regular consumers of products derived from animal products while 12% indicated they are flexitarian/semi-vegetarian, and a combined 11% indicated they are either vegan vegetarian or vegetarian. 

“The WTP for plant-based, both retail and food service, in August 2023 was still well below August 2022 levels, while the share self-declaring as regular meat consumers increased both versus July 2023 and August 2022 levels,” Tonsor says. “Combined, I think this past month just reflects small adjustments and not a change of any longer-period trends; note implied market share (when all prices are at intermediate levels) for plant-based remains very low and lower than when the MDM effort started.”

Seventy-five percent, 49% and 63% of respondents said they consumed breakfast, lunch and dinner at home in August with lunch and dinner meal rates being lower than in July. In August, 17%, 24% and 33% had beef their prior day breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pork was included in 20%, 13% and 19% of these meals.

The August survey also went beyond the base prior-day recall information, asking respondents to recall last consumption events for pork chops, chicken breasts and beef steaks in the past week, past month and past year. Chicken breasts were consumed within the past week by over one-half of respondents while more than one-fourth consumed pork chops and beef steaks the prior week. 

This month’s MDM also assessed prior week consumption across generations,  revealing all three key muscle-cut products are more common for Millennial respondents. Tonsor says this sheds an ongoing light into key generation pattern differences in the U.S. protein space.

“I think millennials may be more likely to see protein as key in their diet for fitness related goals; as you see in past work with Justin Bina we recently highlighted,” Tonsor says. “I also think they are more likely to indicate prior day consumption reflecting larger households and more eligible meals at home given differences in life stage.”

About the Author(s)

Ann Hess

Content Director, National Hog Farmer

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