As the Summer Grilling Season ended with the beginning of autumn, retailers and consumers will begin to turn to another important period for beef demand. The holidays, especially the month of December, generate higher demand for the industry at retail. With Americans gathering with family and friends and celebrating over meals, consumers demand premium beef products, such as roasts and steaks. These premium products can help drive increased sales at the retail level, and the holiday season is an important time to promote, feature, and advertise these types of products to capture consumer attention and seasonal demand.
This year, like 2020, could look slightly different in terms of traditional holiday celebrations due to continued pandemic concerns. While consumers are less worried overall than last year, consumers still plan to gather with fewer people during Christmas than in “normal” years. Only 11% of consumers surveyed reported that their plans will be identical to years prior to 2020, with 71% reporting that planned activities will differ.1 While some consumers are still concerned about the pandemic, gatherings and travel will be more prevalent this year than last.
Overall beef demand tends to dip in November, with other protein products, such as Turkey and Ham, taking the forefront at Thanksgiving holiday celebrations. In 2020, November accounted for 6.8% of beef’s annual dollar sales; this begins to ramp up closer to December, with the last month of the year accounting for over 8% of annual sales.2 One thing that is unique with this part of the year is that higher premium beef products tend to increase in demand. With families gathering around the table to celebrate, higher premium cuts such as the Rib Roast experience higher amounts of demand.
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