U.S. Meat Consumption Remains Strong

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

The Meat Institute and FMI-The Food Industry Association unveiled the figures in the 19th annual The Power of Meat report.

According to data cited from Circana, overall household penetration averages above 97% for all incomes, ethnicities, household sizes, and ages.

Generation X (the smallest of the generations) accounts for the most significant proportion of sales (32%). At the same time, Boomers buy meat most frequently (53 times per year), and Millennials spend the most money per purchase (nearly $17).

infographic Power of Meat Report

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

“As price-conscious shoppers look for ways to continue enjoying their favorite proteins, they cook more at home and include meat in everything from new recipes found online to their favorite comfort meals and holiday feasts. With shoppers including meat in nearly 87% 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,” commented Rick Stein, Vice President of Fresh Foods for FMI—The Food Industry Association.

infographic Power of Meat Report

At the grocery store, 73% of Americans make one or more changes to meat purchases to save money – the most common strategy being to adjust the quantity of meat purchased.

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

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On the other hand, more than nine in 10 shoppers say they would spend extra on occasion, with holidays, special celebrations, and entertaining as the top reasons.

“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% of consumers look for when making meat purchases,” said Julie Anna Potts, Meat Institute President and CEO.

210 Analytics conducted the Power of Meat study on behalf of FMI—The Food Industry Association and the Meat Institute’s Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education.