Higher Retail Meat Prices Reduced Household Economic Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 6, 2022 Xiao Dong, USDA ERS

Retail meat prices rose almost 7 percent in 2020 as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic changed the economic landscape in the United States. Meatpacking plants were forced to close temporarily during spring and summer of 2020 when workers tested positive for COVID-19, while other plants had to reduce capacity. This disruption led to a drop in U.S. meat production and increased meat prices for U.S households. At the same time, restaurant restrictions put in place during the pandemic shifted consumer purchasing patterns toward more food at home, leading to an increase in the amount of meat households bought from grocery stores.

Meat Prices Have Been Rising With Inflation. But Who’s Benefiting?

February 17, 2022 Marketplace

The grocery store is arguably where consumers feel inflation most. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meat costs about 20% more than it did in 2021, and analysts expect prices to keep going up before they come back down. 

Analysis: High U.S. Meat Prices: Packer Profiteering or Capacity Crunch?

January 20, 2022 David Lawder, Reuters

The Biden administration is targeting a small group of meat packers for high beef, pork and poultry prices that it says are squeezing consumers and fueling inflation, arguing that they are abusing their market power.

No Picture

White House to Invest $1B to Boost Competition in Meat-Processing Industry and Lower Consumer Prices

January 3, 2022 Kate Sullivan, CNN

The White House on Monday announced it would allocate $1 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan to independent meat and poultry producers as part of an effort to boost competition in the meat-processing industry and lower prices for consumers.

Meat Counter Prices Rising to ‘Spook Zone’ Levels: Food Expert

September 8, 2021 Rosanna Hempel, Global News

Several culprits are pushing the upward-trending price tags, food distribution professor Sylvain Charlebois told Global News on Friday.