Per Capita Meat Consumption Climbing

So much for “meatless Mondays.”  US annual per capita red meat and poultry consumption has been climbing since 2014 and is projected to continue climbing through next year.

Total red meat and poultry consumption in the US doesn’t seem to waver a lot from year to year.  However, total red meat and poultry consumption is not expected to reach levels seen in the early part of this century – at least not by next year.

The data and projections come from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  They were compiled by the Livestock Marketing Information Center.




Record annual per-capita red meat and poultry consumption hit its zenith in 2004 when the national average was 220.26 pounds each.  That year, consumption was led by total chicken consumption at 85.49 pounds per person.  It was followed by beef at 66.24 pounds, they pork at 51.45 pounds and turkey at 17.09 pounds.

Comparative year-over-year consumption patterns are shown in this LMIC graph.

This year, NASS estimated total US per capita red meat and poultry consumption at 213.27 pounds.  If realized, this would be up 0.61 pound, or 0.29%, from 212.66 pounds last year.

That’s not a lot, but compared with the most recent low of 200.14 pounds in 2014, that’s up 13.13 pounds, or 6.56%, in just three years.

Further, red meat and poultry consumption by US consumers was expected to climb to 216.20 pounds next year, a gain of 2.93 pounds, or 1.37%, in just one year.

The bulk of this year’s expected per capita consumption increase was expected to come in beef, where consumers were seen chowing down on 56.04 pounds, compared with last year’s 55.46 pounds, a gain of 0.58 pound, or 1.04%.

Per capita pork consumption was expected to decline 0.19 pound, or 0.38%, this year to 49.84 pounds from 50.03 in 2016.

Total chicken consumption this year also was expected to dip slightly to 90.54 pounds from 90.79 pounds last year.

Turkey consumption was seen rising a bit to 16.84 pounds from 16.38 last year.




Total per capita red meat and poultry consumption next year was expected to rise in all major protein categories.  Beef consumption was seen climbing to 57.35 pounds, up 1.31 pounds, or 2.34%.

Pork consumption was forecast to climb to 50.44 pounds per person, a gain of 0.6 pound, or 1.20%, from 49.84 this year.

Total chicken consumption was seen climbing 0.92 pound per person, or 1.02%, to 91.46 pounds from 90.54 pounds this year.

Per capita turkey consumption doesn’t change much from year to year, and was seen moving to 16.94 pounds, up 0.1 pound, or 0.59%, from 16.84 pounds this year.





Fed cattle sales on the livestock exchange video auction Wednesday were very limited.  One lot sold in the south at $117.75 per cwt on a live basis, and one lot sold in the north at $117.25, down $1.50 to $2.00.

Cash cattle traded Thursday at $118 per cwt live, down $1 from the bulk of last week’s trade.  No dressed-basis sales were recorded, but they traded last week at $189 to $190, down $6.

The USDA’s choice cutout Thursday was down $2.53 per cwt at $220.05, while select was off $1.56 at $203.76.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $16.29 from $17.26 with 115 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $145.97 per cwt, down $1.56.  This compares with Thursday’s Aug settlement at $144.62, up $2.40.