FMI, the Food Industry Association, recently released a special mid-year report on meat sales in grocery stores. The report takes a fresh look at what was happening in the meat industry from the shopper’s perspective amid the coronavirus pandemic. As the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, shoppers quickly started stocking up on all types of food products. Meat department sales almost doubled in the first week of the pandemic, compared to the same week in 2019.

While many were focused on filling their refrigerators and freezers with their purchases, consumers were also cooking more meals as home-prepared meals with meat specifically increased to 4.6 per week from 3.9 last year. The surge in demand and the impact of COVID-19 on meat suppliers resulted in a significant tightening of supply and some resulting meat inflation, as 91% of shoppers experienced out-of-stocks.

However, FMI reports the meat department has persevered. Most shoppers continue to see meat as a good source of protein and nutrients, and many continue to believe meat belongs in a balanced diet.

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