KAY SHIPMAN FARMWEEK
Meat is enriching the meals of more Americans, which are now more frequently cooked and eaten at home, a new report from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has revealed.
A total of 98.5% of US households reported buying meat, and nearly 3 in 4 Americans describe themselves as meat eaters, according to the IMF’s 17th annual Power of Meat study.
The 2021 report looked at the impact of the pandemic on shoppers’ habits and lifestyles. The Power of Meat provides an annual update on meat and poultry shopping habits before purchase, in-store and at home.
Compared to pre-pandemic levels, sales of all meats by volume increased by 3.9%. Volume sales of fresh and prepared meats are higher compared to pre-pandemic levels. Sales of fresh meats are up by 3.7% and sales of prepared meats by 4.3%.
More and more people are cooking and eating their meals at home. Although this level of 80% is slightly down from the peak of 88% in April 2020, the trend at home remains strong.
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On average, Americans reported eating four home-cooked meals with meat each week. More than half, 57%, cook meat for 4-7 dinners each week.
Americans have also changed the way they shop. Today, 61% say they buy meat online, up from 39% in 2019. Of these online shoppers, 46% regularly shop online.
As consumers cook more meat at home, they are turning more to online sources for ideas and instructions, especially younger shoppers.
About half said they regularly turn to websites, apps and social media for recipes and suggestions. Search engines, such as Google, are the first tool for 72%, while 57% turn to YouTube.
Among Gen Z and Millennials, about half use Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok for help with meat preparation and recipes.
The generational differences are striking. For example, 53% of Gen Z say they are turning to TikTok, compared to 4% of baby boomers.
What is everyone looking for online? They look for ideas related to the type of meat, specific cuts, and specific cooking methods.
This story was distributed as a cooperative project between the Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Press Association. For more food and agriculture news, visit FarmWeekNow.com.