Over the past decade, US pork consumption fell 4 percent, but may increase during the next decade, according to USDA Economic Research Service analysts in the report “USDA Agricultural Projections to 2025.” During those 10 years, US beef consumption dropped 15 percent while broiler consumption increased 5 percent.
The key factor driving trends in pork, beef and chicken consumption is retail prices, according to USDA. For example, in May 2016, retail prices were around US$1.90 per pound for broilers, US$5.83 per pound for beef and US$3.78 per pound for pork.
Moreover, beef prices have risen much more sharply than broiler prices over the past 10 years. Between 2006 and 2016, beef prices rose 53 percent, mostly due to tight supplies, while broiler prices rose 12 percent.
Other factors that may have contributed to the shift away from beef and pork consumption include growing health concerns about red meat intake and increased availability of convenience chicken products, such as skinless, boneless breasts and ready-to-serve offerings.
Increased pork production and consumption
But meat consumption in the US is likely to undergo a noticeable shift over the next decade as production of beef and pork grows and prices decline. USDA baseline projections, which provide a long-run view of the U.S. farm sector, show that pork output will expand steadily between 2016 and 2025, driven by lower feed costs and strong meat demand domestically and abroad. Pork production is projected to grow by 10.3 percent during the period.
As a result of the anticipated expansion in production, pork prices are projected to drop 11.6 percent over the period, driving up demand for beef and pork and reversing a multiyear decline in meat consumption in the US.
Per capita consumption of beef is forecast to increase by 2.7 percent by 2025, outpacing growth in consumption of broilers and pork, which are projected to rise by 2.3 percent and 1.7 percent during the same period. The rise in beef and pork consumption will increase the total amount of meat consumed per person in the U.S. from 211 pounds (96 kg) in 2015 to nearly 219 pounds (99 kg) by 2025.