Regional Differences in Consumers’ Love of Beef

Consumers crave beef for its taste; yet they also value the variety, versatility, convenience and strength-providing nutrients it provides, whether for quick occasions or a sit-down meal.1  But how do shoppers’ choices vary by geography?  Considering cuts, grinds, product type and quality grade, this article explores retail beef sales by the eight U.S. regions to uncover purchase patterns for beef.2

Americans have long been avid consumers of beef.  Strong demand for beef at retail has driven production higher, and U.S. per capita retail meat case beef volumes have increased 12% since 2014, to 17.1 pounds in 2018. Not surprisingly, this varies by region.  Chart 1 shows how consumers in the South Central states purchased the most retail meat case beef in 2018 (21.0 pounds), followed by those in the Plains (18.6 pounds) and West (18.2 pounds), while California shoppers trailed at 13.0 pounds per capita.  Since 2014, however, all regions have increased their beef consumption with those in the West purchasing 16% more pounds than in 2014, while Southeast consumers purchased 8% more beef.  

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