As consumers shop at the meat case this holiday season and into the New Year, they'll see lower retail prices on beef, including popular holiday cuts like the tenderloin and rib roast, according to CattleFax, a beef industry analyst firm based in Centennial, Colo.,
In fact, November was the largest beef production month since 2010, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to raise its beef production forecast for 2016 in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), released Dec. 9. As a result, CattleFax reported today’s beef prices are down more than 10% from the highs of late 2014.
Beef production is currently on an upward trend, with production projected to rise 6% in 2016 and another 4% in 2017, according to CattleFax.
"As beef production has increased and demand remains exceptionally strong, better prices will be passed on to consumers," says Lance Zimmerman, market analyst, CattleFax. "This holiday season, it means consumers can expect to see lower pricing reflected in retail advertising, better promotions on beef and more limited-time offers on menu items."
Putting beef deals in consumers' hands
The nation's cattle farmers and ranchers contribute marketing dollars collected through the Beef Checkoff Program to promote beef sales. For example, farmers and ranchers are working with Ibotta, a Denver, Colo.-based smartphone app that offers rebates on groceries and other items.
"With more beef available, it's an ideal opportunity for consumers to take advantage of lower prices at the meat case," says Tracy Brunner, a beef producer from Ramona, Kan., and current president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a Centennial, Colo.-based contractor to the Beef Checkoff. "We're helping consumers do exactly that with valuable promotions and tips for easily incorporating beef into their meal planning during the holidays and into the New Year."
In addition to favorite holiday cuts, consumers will also find good deals on lean beef cuts, such as top sirloin and strip steak.
"Research shows that lean sources of protein like beef can support a healthy weight by helping you feel fuller longer, making high-calorie snacks and desserts less tempting," says Dr. Shalene McNeill, executive director of human nutrition at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.