Report: More people purchasing beef during the pandemic


Report: More people purchasing beef during the pandemic

Consumers are purchasing more beef and reporting a positive perception of the meat, according to a new study by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor of the Beef Checkoff.

Shawn Darcy is the senior director of market research and scientific affairs.

“One to two percent in retail year-over-year sales would be a solid year for beef and we had months where we were 40-50 percent in retail year-over-year when we looked back at the spring and we’re still 15-20 percent what we were last year in that retail space,” he says.

From January to September, the percentage of consumers eating beef at least weekly increased from 67 to 72 percent.

Darcy says the increase in beef consumption is tied to the rise in at-home cooking and eating.

“We saw a shift in our tracking and we believe this is why beef is at the top—versatility and convenience have been primary drivers even more so than it has in the past,” he says. “Ground beef has been a huge component of that. It’s represented 43 percent of the sales dollar increase that retail space has seen.”

The State of the Consumer report provides a snapshot of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had consumer attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions.

Other report take-aways include: online ordering for both groceries and meal ordering will likely remain; consumers are more focused on spending money on essential needs like groceries, household supplies, and personal care; and positive consumer perceptions of beef and beef production increased during the pandemic.

Audio: Shawn Darcy