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Consumers still buying meat in face of inflation

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Animal protein economist Brian Earnest with CoBank examines the continued strong demand for meat despite double-digit price increases.

Inflation will continue to be the top challenge to retail meat demand for the foreseeable future. Retail meat and poultry prices were as much as 18% higher, year over year, in May according to the Consumer Price Index, and inventories remain below pre-pandemic levels. That combination of tight supplies and solid demand kept meat prices 20% higher than the five-year average for the March-May period overall, according to the latest analysis from CoBank.

Brian Earnest is the lead economist for animal protein in CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division. He provides market and industry research for the poultry, pork, and beef sectors, and in this episode shares his latest analysis of those markets with a particular eye on the role inflation might play in tempering consumer demand.

He also shares his analysis of the supply-side situation, from inventory reductions in the beef space to expansion in the poultry sector.

You can read more of our coverage of the animal protein markets in the pages of Feedstuffs; you can find the latest issue now by visiting Feedstuffs.com and clicking on “Digital Editions.”

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