Tonsor Reports Meat Demand Holding Steady

September 19, 2022

Kansas State University livestock economist Glynn Tonsor reported last week that consumer demand for proteins, including beef, pork and chicken, is holding steady. He attributes this, in large part, to a surge in the foodservice industry.  

“The demand for dinner meals away from home was up from July to August,” Tonsor said, noting that demand for grocery store retail meat was down in August.  

Prior to last month, foodservice purchases represented a weakness in the U.S. meat market, but August’s figures indicated an increase in demand for lunch and dinner. According to Tonsor, the trend of eating in restaurants was particularly strong in southern states, including Florida and Texas. He said he hoped this increase would offset what was a little bit of a pullback in retail demand.  

Tonsor also reported that consumer purchases at merchandisers and club stores rose in August, a possible response to inflation.  

“This is an indication that folks are shifting where they buy protein, and probably buying a bigger volume,” he said. “They may have a more expensive trip to the store, but I think they’re finding ways to get the price per pound lower by buying larger quantities, then taking it home and cutting it up.”