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Meat Report: Consumption Solid, Shopper Trends Changing

FMI's Power of Meat report

The number of Americans who describe themselves as meat eaters (80 percent) and the number of households that buy meat (98 percent) remain steady from 2023, while the number seeking to lower meat consumption has fallen by 20 percent since 2020.

These were among the findings in the 19th annual Power of Meat report released March 18 by the Meat Institute and FMI – The Food Industry Association.

According to data cited from Circana, overall household penetration averages above 97 percent for all incomes, ethnicities, household sizes and ages. Generation X (the smallest of the generations) accounts for the greatest proportion of sales (32 percent), while Baby Boomers buy meat most frequently (53 times per year) and Millennials spend the most per meat purchase (nearly $17).

Economic conditions continue to impact Americans’ shopping and meal choices, with 43 percent of Americans cutting back on restaurant meals. Of meat eaters buying restaurant meals less often, 75 percent try to recreate restaurant-type meals at home.

At the grocery store, 73 percent of Americans are making one or more changes to meat purchases to save money, with the most common strategy being to adjust the quantity of meat purchased. 

Among meat purchasers changing quantities to save money, 30 percent buy smaller packages to save money immediately, and 42 percent buy larger bulk packs to save money over time. 

On the other hand, the Power of Meat report showed that more than nine in 10 shoppers say they would spend extra on occasion, with holidays, special celebrations and entertaining the top reasons.

“As price-conscious shoppers look for ways to continue enjoying their favorite proteins, they are cooking more at home and including meat in everything from new recipes found online to their favorite comfort meals and holiday feasts,” said Rick Stein, VP of fresh foods for FMI – The Food Industry Association.

“With shoppers including meat in nearly 87 percent of home-cooked meals every week and looking to meat to make occasions special, the opportunities to provide great choice, taste and value continue to grow.”

Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts added, “When shoppers hear ‘protein,’ they think ‘meat,’ and the Meat Institute is actively working to maintain and grow Americans’ confidence about meat’s role in healthy, balanced diets. 

“Our Protein PACT initiative drives progress and provides transparent information about how meat contributes to the health of people, animals, and the planet – which 83 percent of consumers are looking for when they make meat purchases.”

The Power of Meat report was conducted by 210 Analytics on behalf of FMI – The Food Industry Association and the Meat Institute’s Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education. The analysis was made financially possible by Cryovac/Sealed Air.

Read more meat news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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