Consumers Keep Buying Beef, but Many Looking for Ways to Keep Cost Per Meal Affordable


Oklahoma Farm Report

14 Sep 2022


Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is visiting with Kansas State University Livestock Market Economist, Dr. Glynn Tonsor talking about beef demand. Tonsor works a lot on the demand equation for the beef and pork industry, and he says the latest numbers he has for the month of August show a challenging picture, but consumers are still trying to figure things out to enjoy beef.


Tonsor said August beef demand was down in retail and up in food service.


“We have two beef categories (retail and food service), so ribeye steak and ground beef, a couple of pork, as well as chicken breasts and some other proteins that we track,” Tonsor said. “Across the board with the exception of plant-based patties, they were just flat for the month compared to July.”


In August, Tonsor the number of consumers that said they bought their protein for at-home consumption from merchandisers at places such as Walmart and Target, and the number that bought it from club stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club, both were up.


“We have been talking a lot about the response to inflation, but I think this in an indication that folks are shifting to where they buy their protein and probably buying a bigger volume when they buy,” Tonsor said. “They may have a more expensive trip, but I think they are finding ways to get the price per pound lower by buying something bigger and then taking it home and cutting it up or doing a bigger roast and getting multiple meals or whatever the case may be.”


The move away from some of the full-priced grocery stores for at least some proteins seems to be happening more and more as consumers are looking into buying in bulk from the wholesale clubs...


more, including audio [5:42 min.]