NCBA’s Mike Simone Says Consumer Interest in Fake Meat is on the Decline

Tue, 01 Nov 2022 11:41:07 CDT
NCBA's Mike Simone Says Consumer Interest in Fake Meat is on the Decline

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is visiting again with the Executive Director of Market Research and Intelligence for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Mike Simone, about keeping up with today’s beef consumer.

Over the past few years, there has been some commotion over plant-based proteins and meat alternatives, but Simone says that has started to dissolve. Meat alternative consumption, Simone said, peaked in the third quarter of 2020 at about 34 percent weekly or more consumption.

In comparison, 69 to 70 percent of consumers surveyed consume beef weekly.

“The other point to make about meat alternative consumption is that they are not eating that exclusively- they are also buying beef and chicken and other proteins as well as part of their overall diet, but some of that buzz is starting to wear off, I think,” Simone said.

Buying beef at the store is more expensive during this time, Simone said, so the dollars are up, but total pounds per capita are down for this year.

“We see that continuing into 2023 for a variety of reasons, but consumers are still going to make that beef purchase, but it may not be as frequent or might not be the cut that they want.”

Through surveys conducted, Simone said 68 percent of consumers have a positive perception of beef and almost half of the consumers have a positive attitude toward beef production.

“Only about a quarter of people actually know how beef is raised, but if you ask what concerns they have, and first of all, only about half say they actually have a concern,” Simone said. “Of that half, about 42 percent say animal welfare- that is their number one response; they are not necessarily thinking greenhouse emissions, or environment or antibiotics or things like that.”

One in five consumers are concerned about how beef is properly raised, which is why Simone said NCBA spends ample time on Beef Quality Assurance training and certification.

“We think it is important, and it is why beef is by far the trusted leader in terms of how farm animals are raised,” Simone said. “Consumers love their beef; they are still buying it.”

Simone said overall consumption levels or purchase levels remain strong and stable.

“We don’t see any huge dip at this point. Supply is expected to dip as we go into this first quarter in early 2023, so that is cause for concern, but we think, again, consumers are loyal customers of beef, and they are going to stick with it, and we see there are some stormy waters ahead, but I think we can ride it out.”

Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Ron Hays and Mike Simone talking about keeping up with today’s beef consumer.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

To access material on the research Simone refers to, click here.



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