As consumers shop at the meat case into the new year, they’ll see lower retail prices on beef, including cuts like tenderloin and rib roast.
November 2016 was the largest beef production month since 2010, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to raise its beef production forecast for 2016 in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, released Dec. 9. As a result, industry experts at CattleFax, a beef industry analyst firm, reports that beef prices are down more than 10 percent from the highs of late 2014.
Beef production is on an upward trend; CattleFax projected a 6 percent rise in production for 2016 and forecasts another 4 percent increase in 2017.
“As beef production has increased and demand remains exceptionally strong, better prices will be passed on to consumers,” said Lance Zimmerman, market analyst for CattleFax.
Putting beef deals in consumers’ hands
The nation’s cattle farmers and ranchers contribute marketing dollars collected through the Beef Checkoff Program to promote beef sales. For example, farmers and ranchers are working with Ibotta, a smartphone app that offers rebates on groceries and other items. Consumers who download the Ibotta app can browse the grocery category for rebates on fresh ground beef, steaks and roasts, unlock the rebates, and then buy these items at more than 80 retailers to get cash back through Ibotta.
“With more beef available, it’s an ideal opportunity for consumers to take advantage of lower prices at the meat case,” said Tracy Brunner, a beef producer from Ramona, Kansas, and current president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. “We’re helping consumers do exactly that with valuable promotions and tips for easily incorporating beef into their meal planning during the holidays and into the new year.”
In addition to favorite holiday cuts, consumers also will find good deals on lean beef cuts, such as top sirloin and strip steak—good news for consumers who are looking to curb their craving heading into the new year, the organization says.
“Research shows that lean sources of protein like beef can support a healthy weight by helping you feel fuller longer, making high-calorie snacks and desserts less tempting,” said Dr. Shalene McNeill, Ph.D., R.D., executive director of human nutrition at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.