Although vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diets are trending, consumer demand for beef, chicken, pork, and other animal protein continues to drive U.S. food industry sales, according to Packaged Facts.
Pork is expected to maintain its low-cost advantage over beef. Many previously overlooked cuts, such as pork shoulder, are experiencing a resurgence in popularity at retail and in restaurants. Retail sales of poultry are also expected to increase over the ensuing five years.
Forecasts show total retail sales of meat, poultry, and meat substitutes will be just shy of $100 billion in 2021. Due to its higher price point, meat will dominate dollar sales despite still trailing poultry in per-capita consumption volume. Meat substitutes will account for less than $2 billion of the projected total, states the firm’s latest report, Meat & Poultry: U.S. Retail Market Trends & Opportunities.
In the years ahead, Packaged Facts predicts consumers will be mindful of their meat consumption, whether for economic, caloric, dietary, or ecological reasons. For those who seek out sustainable meat and poultry, specialty products like grass-fed or local beef, heritage poultry, and wild boar will be on point. Consumers will look to meat professionals to connect them with these products, explain the product benefits, and educate on how these products are best prepared and served.
Consumers minding their pocketbook will also take cues from how cultures around the world make less-expensive cuts like brisket taste great. Likewise, retail sales of meat will receive a boost from growth in consumption of pork, which is expected to maintain its low-cost advantage over beef. In addition, many previously overlooked cuts of pork (such as pork shoulder) are experiencing a resurgence in popularity both at retail and in restaurants, states the report.
“Meanwhile, retail sales of poultry are expected to increase over the ensuing five years, supported by poultry’s cost advantages relative to many types of meat. A further advantage for chicken: health authorities such as the American Heart Association continue to encourage consumption of poultry and seafood as alternatives to red meat,” according to Packaged Facts.
The firm adds with convenience and portability a trend across the food and beverage industry, consumers seeking high-protein meat snacks will find a plethora of meat jerky, meat snack bars, and meat sticks available, as well as crunchy cracklings from high-quality pork, plus plant- and nut-based meat substitutes.