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ANALYSIS: Chicken Production: Is Hatchability Beginning to Heal?

With 2022’s trade environment riddled with challenges ranging from price volatility to disease, buyers and sellers of chicken are going through the production stats with a fine-tooth comb in hopes of finding any sign of relief...

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May 23 8:29 AM, Urner Barry



This Week in Retail: Beef Ads Lag Leading Up to Memorial Day

The Memorial Day holiday is just one weekend away and grocers are gearing up for the unofficial start to the summer grilling season.

This major retail occasion typically drives sales from the meat case, with items like burgers and hot dogs stealing the spotlight.

Beef features account for 28% of total protein ad volume this week, up slightly from the previous week. Pork and seafood are tied for second with 25%. Chicken claims 16%, even with the week prior. 

While beef holds the top spot in retail buying opportunities, market participants have reported lackluster beef features for this time of year. May is typically the strongest period of the year for beef demand...

While beef holds the top spot in buying opportunities, market participants have noted lackluster beef features for this time of year. May is typically the strongest period of the year for beef demand...

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May 19 8:20 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Turkey Breasts: To Debone or Not To Debone

During these unprecedented times when seasonality has taken a back seat to other more disruptive variables, it is important to maintain a sense of perspective on current market behavior...

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May 19 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Protein Demand and Rising Food Inflation

Fueled by rising food inflation, consumers nationwide continue to see higher prices for protein along with other goods, both at retail and foodservice. 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 8.3% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—down slightly from the month prior. However, the latest figure was still near a 40-year high and slightly above what some analysts had anticipated. 

The food index increased 0.9% last month, its seventeenth consecutive monthly increase. 

Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased in April. The fruits and vegetable category was the only index that declined last month. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.4% in April, driven by a 10.3% increase in the egg index...

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May 12 8:07 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Protein Features Spring to Life in May

May has finally arrived, sparking spring fever among consumers and retailers alike. With warmer weather beginning to arrive for parts of the country, retailers will increasingly showcase grilling campaigns for the upcoming summer season. 

The month of May hosts several retail occasions that typically heighten store traffic and sales. Baseball season is underway, leading to increased consumption both inside and outside the stadium of hot dogs, burgers, beers, and more.

The National Hog Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) estimates that MLB fans will consume 19.1 million hot dogs and nearly five million sausages at games this season. Fans are returning to stadiums at maximum capacity this season for the first time since 2019...

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May 5 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Roast Features Make Room for Grilling Ads

Although some portions of the country are still experiencing cool weather and even snow, various grilling cuts are beginning to surface in circulars as consumers dust off their grills—despite being a month away from the unofficial Memorial Day kickstart to summer.

For grocers, the seasonal uptick in demand typically boosts sales for items like loins, butts, and ribs over the next few weeks as warmer weather drives increased outdoor activity.

In the meantime, retailers are preparing for the next retail occasion—Cinco de Mayo. The approaching celebration could increase store traffic as shoppers stock up on pork, beef, and chicken for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and beyond...

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Apr 28 8:50 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Q2 Chicken Production Expectations Buck Protein Downtrend

The latest release of the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook Report is certainly eye-opening as ready-to-cook (RTC) production of most key proteins is projected to decline on a year-over-year (YoY) basis throughout Q2...

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Apr 25 7:58 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Disease-Induced Decline in Total Monthly Turkey Exports

For those on the turkey side of the business, one of the most apparent implications of the HPAI outbreak has been the complications related to exports...

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Apr 21 8:01 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: The Lull Before Grilling Season

The next few weeks following Easter are generally uneventful for retailers. With below-normal temperatures lingering in parts of the country, grocers are anxiously awaiting the confluence of seasonal factors that typically boost protein sales during the summertime. 

At present, grocers are securing holiday-oriented needs for May. The peak demand period for meat typically follows Memorial Day—the unofficial start of the summer season.

Leading up to Memorial Day, grocers will utilize springtime activities including baseball season and Cinco de Mayo to help fill the pauses in retail occasions.

Store circular ads will begin to display the change in season as front-page features for cold-weather items like roasts are replaced with steaks, ribs, and other grilling-centric cuts...

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Apr 21 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: A Look at Easter Features; CPI Data Released

This week in retail, the discussion is heavily centered on the economy, rising inflation with the latest CPI growth, and the bird flu outbreak in the U.S. Meanwhile, Easter week has arrived and grocers are looking to capture additional spending on the holiday.

USDA estimates that nearly 24 million poultry birds have died from high-path avian influenza since the virus strain was identified in February. The virus has since spread in wild birds to 32 states.

Another outbreak was confirmed Tuesday afternoon in a flock of roughly 2 million commercial layers in Nebraska, lifting the total number of commercial laying hens affected by HPAI to about 20 million head. 

Urner Barry's Midwest large benchmark quotation is currently at $2.84/dozen, down from $3.01/dozen the week prior but a staggering 176% above a year ago. At retail, large eggs on feature for the holiday week are highlighted at nearly $3/dozen while X-large averages $2.86/dozen...

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Apr 14 8:03 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Weighing Chicken Slaughter Expectations

The chicken industry is no stranger to upward-trending bird weights...

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Apr 8 7:54 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Bird Flu and The Easter Outlook

Easter promotions are in full motion and households are gathering staples including eggs, ham, and lamb for the upcoming holiday.

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend an average of $169.79 this year on Easter-related items, with food accounting for the largest spending category. The collective spending on the holiday is forecast at $20.8 billion, down slightly from $21.6 billion last year.

With HPAI spreading throughout the country, consumers are beginning to see higher prices for shell eggs. Roughly 13 million layers have been impacted by the current outbreak—the country’s worst since 2014-2015—while over two million commercial turkeys have fallen prey to the virus...

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Apr 7 8:25 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Looking Towards April

Heading into April, the prospect of warmer weather encourages grocers to revamp their ads to align with seasonal trends. Increased demand for grilling items, especially for premium beef cuts, typically supports sales at the meat case.

Furthermore, the warming trend often translates to increased foodservice demand as more consumers venture out to restaurants. 

Wholesale prices for cuts like strip steaks, porterhouse, and T-bones normally begin to increase sometime in April and peak in the summer months. 

This week in retail, steaks including top round, top sirloin, and T-bone all show a rise in price versus a year ago. The steak complex currently averages 32% higher YoY. Features for 80% ground beef average $3.47 per pound, up from $2.88 per pound last year. Average roast prices are up 42 cents per pound...

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Mar 31 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: HPAI Triggers Turkey Price Break

If there is one segment that has commanded the near-universal attention of turkey market participants lately, it has to be the parts complex...

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Mar 31 7:54 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Shell Egg and Egg Product Values Soar as Bird Flu Claims More than 10 Million Laying Hens

As we prepared to enter the second quarter of the year—and the second year of the pandemic—it appeared that COVID-19 was finally moving into the rearview and that the nation was poised to return to some semblance of normalcy...

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Mar 25 8:30 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Chicken Cold Storage: A Contra-Seasonal Tale

A quick glance at the latest Cold Storage Report highlights the contra-seasonal inventory movement of several key lines within the chicken complex...

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Mar 25 8:01 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Steak Features See Boost from Warmer Weather; Eyeing HPAI

Sunday marked the official start of spring. For retailers, that means grilling season is rapidly approaching, and with it—the opportunity for increased meat sales.

Steak features surged this week, accounting for 50.5 percent of total beef ads—up 16 percentage points from the week prior. Feature volume for roasts, meanwhile, has decreased, falling from 38.2 percent last week to 23.2 percent this week.

This week in retail, the steak complex averages $8.12 per pound, up 12.8 percent from a year ago. Boneless strip steaks are widely featured at grocery outlets across the nation and average $11.68 per pound, up 36 percent from a year ago. Top sirloin steaks are up 3.3 percent YoY at $5.64 per pound while bottom round steaks clock in at $5.54 per pound, up a whopping 68.4 percent from this week last year...

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Mar 24 8:27 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Turkey Production: Let’s Talk Toms

Amidst the unpredictable and fluid set of circumstances surrounding the turkey market, we thought it would be a good opportunity to get back to basics and instead, focus on some of the “known” components in play on the supply side...

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Mar 24 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: A Look At The Recent Volatility In The Belly Market

Volatility in the belly market is not uncommon, but the prices we witnessed in February and now in March would be considered extremely elevated, even for spring and summer. Both skin-on and skinless bellies reached, and are currently sitting at, seasonal all-time highs for the last 2 weeks of February and the first 2 weeks of March. For this analysis, we will take a look at 11-13 skinless bellies...

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Mar 21 9:23 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Cumulative Chicken Slaughter Walks Along Well-Worn Path, With Some Caveats

With Q1 all but in the rearview mirror, and in light of the recent volatility surrounding much of the chicken complex, we thought it would be a timely opportunity to assess how the year-to-date (YTD) slaughter figures are stacking up so far...

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Mar 18 8:32 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Showcasing Brisket Features for St. Patrick’s Day

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and grocers are lining their shelves with Irish staples including corned beef brisket, Irish soda bread, and beer.

The National Retail Federation reports that over half of Americans plan to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year, providing a boost for retail sales as consumers stock up on green apparel, food, and beverages. The NRF's survey found that 34% of celebrants will make a special dinner while 19% plan on attending a party at a bar or restaurant.

Roast feature activity accounts for 45% of all beef ads this week. Of that, briskets claim 42% of total roast features. Features for corned beef brisket this week range from $4.28 per pound to $5.93 per pound, depending on the store and region. Brisket feature prices currently average $4.49 per pound, up 22% from a year ago...

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Mar 17 8:45 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: January Turkey Exports: A Rocky Start to the Year

The latest export figures paint a topsy turvy picture with some destinations doubling down on their US turkey consumption when compared to December, while others back away from their anticipated seasonal expectations...

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Mar 17 8:18 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Chicken Exports Keep in Line with Seasonal Trend

Although the newly released chicken export figures for January were a mixed bag, trade volume generally followed along a familiar, albeit enhanced, seasonal path...

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Mar 11 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Grocers Spring Forward; Latest CPI Data

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 7.9% in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—the largest 12-month increase since 1982. The data was in line with analysts' expectations, heightening inflation fears in the markets.

The food index was up 1% as food at home gained 1.4% over the month. Both were the largest monthly increases since April 2020, according to the BLS. 

All six major grocery store food group indexes increased in February. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.2%. 

The index for food at home has risen 8.6% in the last 12 months, the largest annual increase since April 1981. The index for food away from home increased 6.8%, the largest 12-month increase in over four decades. 

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, market participants are closely eyeing the risks associated with worsening inflation. The ripple effects of the Russia-Ukraine war could raise consumer prices even further as grocers prepare for the transition to Spring, which is less than two weeks away...

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Mar 10 9:41 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Tom Breast Meat Plots Along Precarious Path

Given seasonally robust demand patterns, barely adequate supplies, and upward trending values all in the face of the multi-state outbreak of HPAI, market participants on both sides of the negotiation table are understandably a little uneasy...

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Mar 10 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: The “Why” Behind WOG Values

For anybody keeping tabs on the chicken market recently, they know that trade experiences and sentiment have been diverse and, at times, contentious...

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Mar 4 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Global Uncertainty and the Food Supply Chain

Headlines are currently dominated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which entered its eighth day today. The Russia-Ukraine war has forced a mass exodus of Ukrainians and upended the global marketplace as market participants brace for potential consequences for consumers, both domestically and abroad.

Russia and Ukraine produce and export an abundance of natural resources including crude oil, metals, and wheat. The Russian assault on Ukraine could have long-term ramifications for the global economy, which is already strained by the ongoing pandemic and enduring supply chain disruptions.

For the United States, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could intensify inflationary pressures and further increase costs for commodities including fuel and food. 

Amidst the volatility currently engulfing the global landscape, grocers are also monitoring a shift in the retail food landscape. March 2nd signified the start of the Christian Lenten season, which typically slows meat sales as Lent observers switch to other proteins including fish.

Seafood feature volume increased to 36% this week, from 28% the week prior. Currently, most seafood features stem from fresh/frozen fillets. The complex—which includes catfish, cod, and tilapia—averages $7.43 per pound this week, up nearly 41.5% from a year ago. 

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Mar 3 8:46 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Chicken Hatch Anchors Production Potential

With nine of the past twelve months year-over-year (YoY) pullet placement advancements in the books, chicken market participants are turning to the charts and wondering why headcount figures continue to reside below 2021...

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Mar 3 8:02 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Thigh Meat and Pork Hams: Competing for the Consumer’s Dollar

With springtime right around the corner, turkey market participants are consulting with the charts as they plot this year’s seasonal course...

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Mar 3 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Cold Storage Report Confirms What Players Suspect

With January’s cold storage assessment hot off the press, turkey market participants are digging through the stats as they attempt to gain some perspective on the supply side of the equation...

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Feb 24 8:58 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Farewell February; What's Next?

Wrapping up the final full week of February, wintry weather is in full force as back-to-back storms rip through the Eastern two-thirds of the country. Amidst the havoc, retailers are eagerly looking towards spring demand, which is boosted by seasonal influences including more favorable grilling conditions and holidays like Easter.

Retail protein sales are typically sluggish in February, leaving much to be desired among grocers. However, consumer retail demand for meat has remained strong so far this year despite a normal seasonal lull and higher prices for most items. In the near term, grocers will begin to shift their retail features from red meat and poultry towards seafood as Lenten observers begin a 40-day period of fasting and reduced meat consumption starting on March 2nd.

The seafood complex accounts for 27% of total protein features this week. Beef makes up 26.5% of feature volume, while pork closes in on 21%. Chicken claims almost 13% of ad space, followed by eggs...

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Feb 24 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: European Egg-Product Prices Soar amid Higher Input Costs, Covid, Bird Flu

A shift in consumer habits due to COVID-related restrictions, along with record-high inflation rates and the spread of Avian Influenza, has led to unprecedented price increases for European egg products in recent months...

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Feb 21 10:12 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: A Look at Protein Indices So Far in 2022

A common thread currently uniting the retail landscape for most proteins is inflationary pressure prompted in part by strong demand, persistent snags in the supply chain, tight supplies, and increased production costs. At present, Urner Barry’s beef, pork, and chicken retail feature indices are positioned at seasonal all-time highs.

Kicking off 2022, Urner Barry’s Weekly Retail Feature Beef Index displayed a contra-seasonal price movement relative to historical norms. The index normally sees a decline from early to mid-January. However, the beef index this year increased by 4.5% from January 3 through January 17 to $6.92 per pound, an all-time high for that week in history. The weekly index has been well above the 5-year average so far this year...

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Feb 18 9:00 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: The Widening Price Fissure Between Breasts and Breast Meat

Players within the turkey market have been keeping very close tabs on tom breast meat...

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Feb 18 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Chicken Wings: Assessing the Seasonal Undercurrent

With football season in the rearview, the collective attention of market participants has begun to divert away from the scoreboard and onto the price sheet, as they attempt to gauge which direction wing values will ultimately fly...

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Feb 18 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: What Caused The Recent Surge In Pork Loin Prices?

Amid the recent surge of bone-in loin prices it is a great time to dig into the details of why this has happened. When the Omicron Variant became a powerful force in the fall and winter of 2021, many consumers opted to stay home and cook more often than choosing food service, which resulted in a spike in retail demand...

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Feb 15 9:24 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Chicken Exports: An Admirable Conclusion to a Choppy Year

With 2021’s ending export figures now released, chicken market participants are digging into the stats to gauge how December’s exporting efforts ultimately played out...

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Feb 14 8:55 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Gauging Early Year Turkey Production

In light of the turkey market’s seasonally strong performance recently, this week we thought it would be a good opportunity to dig into the production side of the equation...

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Feb 11 9:03 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Super Bowl Sales Wrap Up; Latest CPI Data 

The Super Bowl is within arm’s reach and grocers this week are promoting party-centric items including finger foods, frozen pizzas, and beverages. An estimated 184.5 million U.S. adults plan to cheer on the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams this Sunday evening, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

Seafood and beef each secured nearly 33% of promotional activity this week, according to the Urner Barry retail survey. Chicken climbed to 11.4%, up from 9.2% last week. Pork cuts were about even with recent weeks and had a 19% share of retail buying opportunities. 

The National Retail Federation reports that a combined 35% of football fans are planning on either throwing a party or attending a party for the big game this year. In the latest 15 years, 67% to 82% of total spending for the Super Bowl has been allocated towards food and beverages, according to NRF data. Chicken is likely to be a highly sought-after item in the meat case and grocers are anticipating an influx of spending on both fresh and frozen wings...

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Feb 11 7:55 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: February Lull Lifted by Game Day Food Purchases

Among retailers, February is normally a sluggish period for protein sales since wintry weather foils efforts to grill outdoors (except for the select few devoted fans, that is). A disruptive winter storm is currently blasting through the central, northeastern, and southern U.S. following a Nor’easter that hammered the East Coast last weekend.

Along with the weather, other factors that typically contribute to sluggish meat sales this month include tighter budgets following holiday shopping in December along with the absence of major holidays.

Grocers are looking for ways to increase store traffic this month by featuring attractive prices, when possible, on cuts of meats commonly used by families to stretch their food dollars. This includes pork butt and beef shoulder, which are great for slow-cooking and can be used in leftovers. Moreover, the upcoming Super Bowl presents an opportunity for grocers to drum up additional interest in the meat case. The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will battle for the coveted Lombardi Trophy next weekend...

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Feb 4 9:02 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Whole Turkeys Establish Steep Seasonal Perch

It’s been a long time coming, but after another successful reunion in Atlanta, turkey market participants are back in the saddle this week and ready to get down to business...

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Feb 4 8:04 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Chicken Hatchability Struggles to Gain Altitude

Nine of the past twelve months have brought with them a notable increase in year-over-year (YoY) pullet placements, and with a 12.7% advance now in the books, December’s figures were no exception...

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Jan 31 7:53 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Wing Prices Take Flight Ahead of Super Bowl

Seafood feature volume advanced to 28% this week, taking the top spot across proteins in retail buying opportunities. Beef closely follows with 27%, while pork and chicken features claim 18% and 10%, respectively, of ad space. Egg features climbed to 13%, up from 7% the week prior.

At the seafood counter, catfish, cod, and tilapia fillets average $6.55 per pound, nearly 13% above year-ago levels. Cooked shrimp features are roughly 90 cents higher than a year ago, averaging $8.49 per pound. Raw shrimp is featured at $7.57 on average for various counts, down 8.4% from this time last year.

In the retail beef complex, 80% lean ground beef averages $3.49 per pound, up 7% from a year ago but lower than both boneless skinless chicken breasts and chicken tenders. The steak and roast complexes continue to maintain hefty premiums to year-ago levels. Steaks average $8.47 per pound, up from $7.19 per pound in 2021. Roasts are featured at $6.06 per pound on average, a nearly 34% YoY increase...

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Jan 28 10:00 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Wintry Weather Boosts Protein Sales

While major buying occasions are sparse in January, wintry weather helps support sales at the meat case this month as consumers stock up on protein for hearty, comfort food recipes.  At present, the National Weather Service is calling for significant winter weather in the Southern and Eastern U.S.

Buying opportunities for seafood and beef have dominated the protein complex so far this year. Seafood narrowly beats out beef for first in buying opportunities this week, claiming 28% of total ad volume. Beef accounts for 26%. 

Retail feature prices for most beef roast cuts—popular with cold-weather cooking—are higher than year-ago levels. Bottom round averages $4.98 per pound, a 15% YoY increase. 80% lean ground beef is up $1.04 per pound, or 37.4%, from last year at $3.82 per pound on average.  

Pork makes up 24% of total ad volume this week. Hams are featured at competitive price points since retailers are looking to clear out excess inventory after the holidays...

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Jan 21 8:02 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Jumbo Wings: Keeping an Eye to the Sky

During NFL playoff season, which is now upon us, wing marketers would typically be gearing up as they prepare for one of the busiest quarters of the year...

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Jan 21 7:44 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: November Turkey Exports: A Polarized Plunge

Closely aligned with what market input has indicated recently, November’s export tally was relatively subdued with most trade destinations reducing their imports of US turkey when compared to October...

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Jan 20 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: November Broiler Exports: A Month of Extremes

With the latest export figures hot off the press, poultry players are enthusiastically digging into the stats as they attempt to gauge the end result of November’s marketing efforts...

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Jan 14 7:58 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Beef and Seafood Dominate Ad Space; CPI Data Released

Beef and seafood currently dominate circular ad space, providing an opportune occasion for surf and turf lovers to snag attractive deals at the grocery store. Beef and seafood account for about 29% and 27%, respectively, of retail buying opportunities this week. The next highest category belongs to pork with 19%, followed by chicken at 15%.

Over in beef, steaks make up 39% of all beef ads. Boneless strip steaks average $12.21 per pound, up from $7.47 per pound last year. T-bone steaks run $8.34 per pound, up 13.9% from 2021. The steak complex is nearly 17% higher YoY on average. The roast category is featured at an average of $6.41 per pound, up $1.47 per pound from 2021. The weekly retail beef feature index is currently at $6.75 per pound, up 20.5% from the prior 5-year average...

Full Story »
Jan 14 7:55 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Eyeing Prop 12, Pandemic Uncertainty in 2022

Rounding out the first week of 2022, uncertainty surrounding the ongoing pandemic continues to impact businesses and the overall wellbeing of the world’s population.

Retailers, along with other participants throughout the supply chain, are monitoring labor constraints, made worse by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. Prolonged disruptions to the production, further processing, and distribution of consumer goods from worker absenteeism and potential further government restrictions remain key concerns for producers and buyers alike in the New Year.

Meanwhile, the second phase of California’s Proposition 12 went into effect on January 1. Under the law, veal calf producers are required to provide their animals with at least 43 square feet of usable floor space per calf. Sows must have a minimum of 24 square feet of usable space per animal. Laying hens are required to be cage-free. Proposition 12 prohibits the sale in California of veal, pork, and eggs not raised in compliance with these...

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Jan 7 7:55 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Chicken Production: Down the Hatch

Between January and November ’21, monthly broiler type pullet placement figures advanced above year-ago levels eight times...

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Jan 7 7:50 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Cold Storage: A Post-Holiday Peek into the Freezers

As turkey market participants eagerly dig through November’s Cold Storage Report, they find that most of the final figures serve to reinforce what they already know: Inventory levels remain constricted...

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Dec 30 8:03 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Seafood Features Are Ablaze Amid the Holidays

With Christmas at our doorstep, some households are stocking up on last-minute gifts, along with food for those hosting holiday meals.

Just ahead of the holiday, seafood climbed to the top spot among protein ads this week with 29.5 percent. Beef comes in second with 25.9 percent of total protein ad volume, followed by pork with 21.6 percent. Chicken makes up 4.7 percent, compared to 5.7 percent the previous week. Turkey features increased to 16.8 percent, up from 12.2 percent last week...

Full Story »
Dec 23 10:00 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Premium Prices and Reduced Headcount Keep Deboning Lines Seasonally Active…

With frozen bagged turkeys slowly relinquishing the Thanksgiving limelight, most of the attention is once again falling back onto the raw material sector, and with good reason...

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Dec 23 7:56 AM, Urner Barry


Urner Barry's New Market Briefing Provides an In-Depth Look at the Protein Trade Before the Holidays

Urner Barry is the leading provider of protein market news and information in the food industry. Through daily canvasses of the trade and an unrivaled historical database, our analysts are uniquely positioned to report on the underlying conditions and significant disruptors to the market. In this Market Briefing, Urner Barry reporters outline the latest action in the commodity protein markets, highlighting seasonal factors, disruptors, and current supply and demand fundamentals...

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Dec 17 10:06 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: October Turkey Exports: A Push-Pull Between Volume and Value

Keeping in line with what our day-to-day market dialogue suggests, October’s ending export figures were relatively diverse with some countries displaying a notable year-over-year (YoY) advancement in both volume and value, while others took a less-urgent approach towards securing their Q4 requirements... 

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Dec 16 8:52 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Inflation Climbs to 39-Year High in Latest CPI Data

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November, showing the all items index up 6.8 percent over the past 12 months. This was the fastest 12-month increase since June 1982.

The food index increased 0.7 percent last month after rising 0.9 percent in both September and October. The index for food away from home rose 0.6 percent in November after gaining 0.8 percent in October, according to the BLS. Over the last year, the food away from home index has risen 5.8 percent. This was the largest yearly increase dating back to January 1982...

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Dec 16 7:31 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: A Look at Holiday Ribs and Hams

The standing rib roast or holiday ham is a traditional centerpiece at the Christmas dinner table. With a little over two weeks to go until Christmas, wholesale buyers are completing their holiday purchases and will increasingly showcase these popular items at retail.

For the wholesale rib market, prices are under significant pressure following a record-shattering peak at nearly $615/cwt in late September, according to Urner Barry’s Choice quotation. Typically, the wholesale rib market begins its seasonal advance from September through around mid to late November as retailers secure inventory for the holiday.

At present, the rib cutout is in an inverse price trend compared to 2020, which saw record-high levels for this time of year...

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Dec 10 7:57 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: The Little Freeze; Where’s All the Pork?

During the lead up to Thanksgiving, the USDA Stocks in Cold Storage report came out and showed us some interesting statistics. The overall pork cold storage stock of 439.6 million pounds is the lowest number for the month of October since 2004...

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Dec 9 8:57 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Raw Materials: A Year to Remember

For many participants, 2021 marked the return of some familiar seasonal underpinnings to the turkey raw material sector...

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Dec 9 8:20 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: The Rib Primal Trend - A More Focused Look

With the rib being the main focus going into the year's end, and a rally into that period is typical, let’s take a deeper look into the price cycle. We will also look at the pullback that follows...

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Dec 3 9:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Year-End Chicken Production Begins to Recede

With the final month of Q4 upon us, market participants are reflecting on what has been a topsy turvy year...

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Dec 3 8:16 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey White Meat Values: What Seasonality?

As we transition into December, there is little if any doubt that the turkey white meat complex has far outpaced historic seasonal expectations...

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Dec 3 8:11 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Jingle Bells, December Sells

December has arrived and retailers have been proactively preparing for what could be a record-breaking season for holiday spending.

The National Retail Federation predicts the highest holiday retail sales on record this year. According to the NRF’s forecast, holiday sales during November and December could grow between $843.4 billion and $859 billion. This compares with a previous high of $777.3 billion in 2020.

Rising incomes along with household wealth, a desire to return to in-person events, and a favorable weather forecast for the holiday season are among the factors contributing to a promising spending outlook...

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Dec 2 8:30 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Tightening Supplies Lift Cash Cattle Prices

Negotiating leverage in the spot market appears to be shifting from the packers to the cattle owners...

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Dec 1 10:05 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: An Update on Pork as the Holidays Approach

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and each year we see hams gain some steam as they are a holiday favorite, with this year being no different...

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Nov 23 8:53 AM, Urner Barry


Analysis: WOGs Reluctant to Give up the Limelight

After a prolonged period of seasonally strong market conditions which spanned from April to mid-October, WOGs continue to retain their lofty position in minds of market participants...

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Nov 22 7:55 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Where’s the Turkey?

The countdown to Thanksgiving is winding down with only one week to go! More families are planning holiday gatherings this year following the pared-down festivities in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Typically, Thanksgiving is one of the biggest food holidays of the year. For some shoppers, the star of the show—turkey—has been harder to find because of supply chain interruptions that are affecting the production, further processing, and transportation of America’s beloved Thanksgiving centerpiece.

The American Farm Bureau Federation recently released its annual survey of Thanksgiving dinner costs, showing the price for a 16-pound turkey this year at $23.99. That figure is up about $1.50 per pound or 24% from last year. According to AFBF, a Thanksgiving feast for ten is $53.31 or less than $6.00 per person, up 14% from last year’s average of $46.90...

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Nov 18 9:57 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Whole Turkeys: Looking Past the Holiday Frenzy

With just over a week to go before Thanksgiving is upon us, market participants and industry observers have turkey on the mind...

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Nov 18 8:04 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Q3 Chicken Exports Conclude With Mixed Undertone

With the latest export figures now revealed, players are eagerly digging into the stats as they reflect on the conclusion of Q3...

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Nov 12 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Gearing Up for Thanksgiving 

With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, some households are proactively stocking up on holiday staples amid ongoing interruptions in the production and transportation of many commodities.

Frozen turkeys make up 89.3 percent of turkey ads this week—up from 52.1 percent the previous week. Feature prices for frozen turkey are in a wide range from 55 cents to $1.19 per pound. 

Typically, retailers will use whole turkeys as loss leaders during the holidays in order to increase customer traffic. That may be harder for grocers to do this year due to persistent snags in the supply chain. Amplifying the logistical issues affecting global trade such as a lack of labor and port bottlenecks is historically tight levels of whole turkeys in cold storage.

USDA reported total whole frozen turkeys in cold storage at the end of September at 258.4 million pounds, the lowest level for that month since 2006. At present, nearly all weight categories for whole turkeys, whether young hens or young toms, are quoted at all-time highs. Urner Barry’s benchmark quotation for young toms, East, frozen, 18 pounds is $1.43 per pound, a record high and up 27.7% from the prior five-year average...

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Nov 11 8:06 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Chicken Cold Storage Holdings: Any Which Way but Average

With all the volatility surrounding the chicken complex in recent weeks, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. With that in mind, this week we’ve decided to delve into the most recent Cold Storage Report to shine some light on what lies behind the freezer doors...

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Nov 8 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Consumer-Packaged Turkey?

In last week’s analysis, we dove into the seasonally low cold storage holdings of frozen whole-body turkeys and the lack of spot availability as we inch closer towards Thanksgiving...

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Nov 4 7:55 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: The Ebbs and Flows of Bellies: A Look at Seasonal Trends

The belly market has recently seen volatile price action, due to a confluence of factors such as labor issues...

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Nov 2 8:11 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Chicken Price Correction: Seasonal or Exceptional?

With the dust appearing to settle following the notable price correction on several key lines within the chicken complex, players have begun to recalibrate their expectations for Q4...

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Oct 29 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Consumers Get a Head Start on Their Holiday Shopping

The final days of October are upon us and grocery circulars will soon be inundated with holiday promotions. 

Retailers will increasingly advertise Thanksgiving staples and several outlets are offering shoppers free turkeys or other holiday favorites after spending a minimum amount. BOGO promotions are also popular at this time of year as grocers make room for fresh and frozen turkeys, hams, and beyond.

This week in retail, however, deep discounts at the meat case are hard to come by. Interruptions in the supply chain continue to influence price points for nearly all commodities while altering consumer shopping behavior.

Shoppers are expected to begin their holiday shopping earlier than usual this year. Some consumers are concerned that they may not be able to buy everything on their list due to the global gridlock at ports and production slowdowns...

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Oct 29 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Frozen Hen Holdings: How Low Can They Go?

Since the outset of the pandemic, buyers have found themselves struggling to consistently cover whole bird needs... 

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Oct 28 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Buying Opportunities Increase for Pork

Meat and poultry features are bountiful this week as consumers hunker down for hearty home-cooked meals during chilly autumn evenings. While Halloween is just around the corner, some retailers are already showcasing Thanksgiving promotions.

This week in retail, buying opportunities were lower week-over-week for turkey and seafood features. Towards the tail-end of October National Pork Month, marketing campaigns pushed pork features higher than the previous week. Meanwhile, retail activity for chicken and beef was nearly flat with the week prior. 

Buying opportunities for seafood this week are centered around fresh/frozen fillets—namely tilapia—and raw shrimp. The fresh/frozen fillets complex makes up 33% of ad space and averages $6.89 per pound, 20.1% above a year ago. Tilapia is up 7.8% from this week last year at $5.93 per pound on average. Atlantic salmon boneless filet is also widely featured and averages $8.68 per pound, compared to $7.70 per pound last year. The raw shrimp complex claims 23% of ad space. The regional price spread for 16-20 raw ranges from $6.99 per pound to $8.99 per pound, generally on par with year-ago levels...

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Oct 22 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Shining Light on Chicken Slaughter

Considering what has been a volatile couple of weeks in the world of chicken, both in terms of pricing and spot availability, we thought it would be a good opportunity to back away from the day-to-day in favor of a broad assessment on the current state of production...

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Oct 22 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Exports: It’s a Matter of Perspective

Although the majority of our top turkey export destinations continue to register year-over-year (YoY) advancements in volume, the cumulative figures through the end of August tell a slightly different story...

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Oct 21 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: A Brief Look at October Pork Month Features

Historically, during the month of October, hog and pork products are marketed around the US...

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Oct 15 9:15 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Spread Between Food at Home vs Away from Home Narrows

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), showed the food index up 0.9 percent last month after gaining 0.4 percent in August. The Food at Home (FAH) index showed a 1.2 percent over the month increase with gains across all six major food group indices. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs demonstrated a 2.2 percent over the month increase. The index for dairy and related products posted the smallest increase at 0.7 percent. 

The BLS defines the CPI as the change in prices paid by consumers for goods and services. Overall, the CPI rose by 0.4 percent in September. Notably, gains in the indices for food and shelter contributed to more than half of the monthly all items increase. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 5.4 percent before seasonal adjustment. 

The BLS reports that the index for Food Away From Home (FAFH), which was up 0.4 percent in August, gained 0.5 percent in September. Over the last year, the FAFH index rose 4.7 percent. Increases for limited and full-service meals offset a decline in the index for food at employee sites and schools...

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Oct 15 7:59 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Have Times Changed for Chicken Breast Meat?

Several months ago, Urner Barry published an analysis piece titled “Will Chicken Ever Come Up For Air?”...

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Oct 8 8:22 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Seafood Reigns Number One in Retail Ads This Week

Grocers' protein promotions this week included more seafood, which claimed the top spot in retail buying opportunities at about 30%. This is up from 27.3% the week prior and 25% this time last year.

The uptick in seafood featuring might be attributed to increased marketing campaigns for National Seafood Month. Organizations such as NOAA Fisheries utilize this month as a time to educate consumers about the U.S. seafood industry while sharing creative recipes to integrate fish, shrimp, and more into mealtimes and even tailgating parties. 

Retailers widely featured 16-20 raw shrimp this week at an average of $7.78 per pound. Down 7.5% from the week prior, this attractive price point could draw more consumers to the seafood case. 

The regional price spread for Atlantic Salmon boneless fillet ranged from $7.66 per pound to $8.86 per pound, generally down from week-ago levels but up on average from 2020. In the fresh/frozen fillets complex, tilapia averaged $4.99 per pound, down 8.6% from the week prior and 6.2% below 2020... 

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Oct 8 7:55 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Hard to Turn Your Back on Breast Meat

Despite the hum of Thanksgiving-induced anticipation surrounding whole birds, turkey market participants can’t seem to pull their eyes away from the whole muscle white meat complex, and with good reason...

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Oct 7 8:48 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Looking Ahead to October

Don’t blink—it’s nearly October. Corn and soybean harvests are underway, sweater weather is approaching, and grocers are seeing additional opportunities to promote protein sales. Pork and seafood are receiving special accolades next month, as October is recognized as National Pork and Seafood Month.

Both campaigns are aimed at supporting farmers and encouraging household consumption by showcasing creative ways to incorporate pork and seafood into mealtimes. Whether it's for back-to-school lunches or family-time dinners, there are no shortages of pork and seafood-centric recipes to celebrate October and fall time festivities. 

Traditionally, hogs were marketed in October. These days, specialized facilities allow for year-round production. While every...

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Oct 1 7:55 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: A Wild Ride for Pork Trimmings in 2021

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the trimmings market saw volatility and price level increases like never before. Beginning in early 2021, 42s and 72s went on an 8-month surge to all-time highs as tightened hog slaughter, elevated hog prices, and labor-related conversion issues supported the market. As prices climbed during the spring and summer, buyers continued to purchase to satisfy the renewed foodservice and grilling demand. At their peak in mid-August, 42s and 72s exceeded the highs set during the 2014 PEDv outbreak by...

 

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Sep 28 12:00 PM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Tight Cold Storage Stocks Keep Prices Elevated for Many Meat Items

Pumpkin spice lovers, rejoice! Yesterday marked the first day of autumn and consumers are gearing up for cooler temperatures and hearty home-cooked meals. As we approach the fourth quarter, retailers are optimistic that fall-oriented demand will help maintain a strong consumer pull for meat and poultry products.  

For hog producers, autumn typically signals a period of seasonal expansion in supplies. Buying interest among packers who purchase hogs in the open market has slowed considerably in recent weeks, according to livestock dealers. This suggests that hog supplies overall are adequate for packers’ needs and current processing capacity, which continues to be strained by labor challenges...

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Sep 23 9:23 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Turkey Production Expansionary Expectations Not in the Signals Sent

Last week our analysis focused on the impact variables such as feed costs, poult placements and, ultimately, head count, had and are having on the valuation of breast meat...

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Sep 23 8:55 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Heat Lingers, but Grocers Look Towards Fall Demand

Heat continues to blanket much of the country in mid-September. Meanwhile, hurricane season is wreaking havoc along the eastern U.S. and Gulf Coast, with tropical storm Daniel being the latest system to rear its ugly head.

With some communities still reeling from the devasting damage of Hurricane Ida and others flooded by torrential rainfall from Nicholas, late-summer grilling plans are far removed from the priority list for many households. 

Meanwhile, the first day of fall is just under one week away. For retailers, the transition to autumn will mean increased consumer preference for fall favorites like roasts. Weather-permitting, tail gaiting at sports events as fans celebrate NFL season could prolong demand for grilling cuts while supporting popular game-time foods like wings.

Speaking of wing fanatics, the National Chicken Council recognizes September as National Chicken Month. Some grocers are advertising additional chicken cuts to encourage consumer spending on poultry. However, the number of chicken advertisements this week in Urner Barry’s survey was down from a week ago and was also below the last half of August...

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Sep 16 9:39 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Weekly Chicken Production Stats Exhibit Uncommon YoY Decline

Reflecting back over the past year, chicken production has been anything but uniform...

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Sep 10 9:15 PM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: July Turkey Exports: Less Is More

As our day-to-day market canvassing efforts have suggested, July’s turkey export figures were a mixed bag with some countries increasing...

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Sep 10 9:15 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: NFL Season Kicks Off, Boosting Protein Demand

The unofficial end of summer is in the rearview mirror and the National Football League season kicks off today with a game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Football viewing parties along with tailgating provide additional opportunities for consumers to gather and celebrate game day with finger foods and protein-centric meals like burgers, hot dogs, ribs, and of course—wings. Football season increases foot traffic at both the meat case and prepared foods sections in the supermarket as eager fans stock up on favorites while cheering for their teams. 

While pumpkin-flavored everything is already making headlines, many parts of the country are still enjoying warm weather. Some households may continue to barbeque outdoors, aiding in prolonged support for grilling cuts in the near term...

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Sep 9 9:45 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Renewed Retail Demand Brings Stability to the Shell-Egg Market

It appeared at the start of the week that the US shell-egg market was poised for a potential turn to the downside as spot market offers began to...

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Sep 7 8:35 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: How the Ads Stack Up for Labor Day

Labor Day weekend is a stone’s throw away and retailers are spotlighting popular grilling items as we approach the final weeks of summer. 

Beef reigns number one in circular ad space this week with 28.6 percent of total feature volume, followed by seafood with 25.5 percent. Pork surpasses chicken for third with 24.3 percent. Chicken claimed 17.1 percent.

In the beef complex, 80% lean ground beef is on feature for an average of $3.19 per pound, down from $3.25 per pound last year. 80% lean ground beef is the only item in the beef complex displaying lower YOY feature prices this week. Top round London Broil, a favorable choice for grillling, is featured at $4.16 per pound, 27.2% above a year ago. The steak complex currently averages $8.70 per pound, nearly one dollar more per pound versus last year. T-bone and top sirloin are heavily advertised this week and their feature prices average about 23% and 8%, respectively, above 2020...

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Sep 3 8:39 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: The Ebb and Flow of YoY Chicken Production

So far, 2021 has been a long and drawn-out year for those in the chicken industry...

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Sep 3 8:39 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Pondering the Potential of Frozen Hens

Now that August is in the rearview mirror, and with very little standing in the way between now and Thanksgiving, turkey market participants can’t help but speculate over the future price potential of whole-body birds...

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Sep 2 8:44 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: The Value of Labor

Labor Day – a holiday to honor the American labor movement – is a little over one week away. The invaluable contributions made by our nation’s workers warrants special recognition this year as nearly all sectors face widespread labor shortages during these unprecedented times.

These days ‘Help Wanted’ signs are commonplace and many restaurants have pared down their menu offerings in response to tight supplies. The retail landscape across nearly all proteins has been shaped by labor and processing constraints as some grocers struggle to secure enough product. Retail prices for several red meat, poultry, and seafood items this week continue to trend above 2020 levels.

Labor Day ads will be in full view next week and retailers will promote popular grilling items like pork chops, ribs, and steak. Grocers are also prepping for an influx of...

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Aug 27 8:41 AM, UB Newswires


ANALYSIS: Pondering the Potential of Chicken Wings and Boneless Breasts

Chicken market participants and football fans alike are on the edge of their seats as we inch closer towards the first kickoff of the year...

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Aug 27 8:40 AM, Urner Barry







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