Retail Demand Shows Positive Increase in Latest Meat Demand Monitor

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Dr. Glynn Tonsor about the latest Meat Demand Monitor.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays is visiting with Kansas State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Glynn Tonsor about results from the latest Meat Demand Monitor, which Tonsor releases each month with Kansas State University. The latest release references data for March.

Tonsor shared encouraging news for the beef industry, revealing that retail demand showed a promising increase in March compared to February. This positive trend was observed across five of the eight products tracked and examined in the monitor, with some products even surpassing the demand recorded in March 2023.

“There are not major changes, but retail demand appears to be holding up pretty well, is what I would highlight there,” Tonsor said. “Food service demand, however, was actually up on all examined.”

Tonsor said there is other evidence that supports the idea that food service may be soft, so there is a chance of a reverse pattern next month if this proves to be true.

“As we have started here in 2024, retail demand has been okay, food service demand has been a little softer, and the cost of a meal has reflected elevated labor costs and other things,” Tonsor said. “More and more households concerned about their budget have consumed more at home, and demand has been higher for at home.”

Tonsor also asked consumers about what is most important to them when making meat protein buying decisions.

“We give them a list of 12 things, from taste, safety, and price to environmental impact, and ask what are the four of these 12 that are most important when you are making a protein purchasing decision and what are the four that are least important,” Tonsor said.

For the average American in March, Tonsor said taste, freshness, safety, and price remain the four most important factors for consumers when purchasing protein. Conversely, Tonsor said factors such as environmental impact, origin traceability, animal welfare, and the use of hormones and antibiotics ranked much lower.

Tonsor said the Baby Boomer generation prioritizes taste, freshness, and price more than younger generations. Taste, freshness, and price are still the most important factors for the millennial generation. Comparatively, Tonsor said the millennials care more about environmental impact, social welfare, and other social issues than the Baby Boomer generation.

“The order of importance does not change across generations, but the relative importance does,” Tonsor said.

To check out the latest Meat Demand Monitor, CLICK HERE!

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