Red Meat Continues to Reign Supreme

Whether you are stopping by your favorite fast food joint to grab a delicious cheeseburger on the way home, enjoying a juicy steak with your significant other at a fancy restaurant on your anniversary or coming home for the holidays to grandma’s famous meatloaf, beef remains a dinnertime favorite. With high protein diets trending, such as the paleo and keto diet, red meat sales are on the rise.

In the 1970s, the beef industry decided to implement some changes that would improve the quality of the meat and wholesomeness of how the cattle would be raised. The cattle we see today are some of the healthiest ever. The changes that were made led to cattle that would gain weight more quickly, eat less feed and have better genetics. These changes would allow the meat to taste better to consumers. Quality was not as important 40+ years ago as it is today and beef sales declined. Once the industry started improving their processes, they quickly saw an increase in sales. According to the Senior executive director of brand marketing and communications of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Season Solorio, “Consumers today want it all — they want food that tastes great, that is raised responsibly and that is good for them.”

Wagyu is one of four specific Japenese beef cattle breeds. The tender meat from these select cattle is of the highest quality and very popular in America right now. Wagyu is prepared in high-end restaurants by experienced chefs. Consumers of this delicious delicacy absolutely love the marbling of these steaks and will pay top dollar for the high-quality taste, texture and flavor! According to an article from the American Wagyu Association, “Health experts have discovered the mono-unsaturated to saturated fat ratio is higher in Wagyu than in other beef and, the saturated fat contained in Wagyu is different. Forty percent is in a version called stearic acid, which is regarded as having a minimal impact in raising cholesterol levels. The profile of marbled Wagyu beef is more beneficial and healthier to human health.”

Other specialty beef products, like craft hamburgers and grass-fed beef, are now being sold in stores and gaining traction with consumers, but the primary growth of sales comes from non-specialty items and exports. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average consumer will eat 222.2 pounds of red meat and poultry this year alone! That equals out to almost ten ounces of protein consumed a day, almost double the recommended five to six ounces. In 2017, the U.S. exported 2.8 billion pounds of beef. That’s a lot of beef!

Beef doesn’t look like it is going to take a hit anytime soon. Red meat still holds a special place in the hearts of most Americans. If you are a candidate looking for a job in the meat industry or are an employer looking to hire someone with the special skills you need, contact us at The Performance Exchange today!