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This Week in Retail: Grocers Deck the Halls With December Deals

Deck the halls with… wait—it’s December already?

Now that Thanksgiving is yesterday's news, retailers are honing in on Christmas and other holiday demands. This month, several seasonal factors shape both the wholesale and retail markets.

For beef, wholesale prices typically take on a softer undertone towards the year's end once holiday orders are filled. Last year, Urner Barry's Choice cutout value shaved off nearly 10% from the beginning of November to the tail end of December. 

On the contrary, retail prices typically climb to some of their highest levels of the year late this month. This is largely due to increased demand for high-quality beef cuts around the holidays...

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Dec 1 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

Pre-Report Estimates for Oct Cold Storage Show Total Stocks 13.2% Above Year Ago

USDA will release its monthly cold storage report at 3 p.m. eastern time Tuesday. Bob Brown, a private analyst from Edmond, Oklahoma, provided his insight on what the latest report might show...

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Nov 17 11:09 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: Pork Trim Maintains Year-over-Year Highs

Pork 42s, 72s, and boneless picnics (72% lean) have been setting year-over-year highs for the past few weeks. 42s are on their 6th straight week setting records while boneless picnics and 72s are on their 4 th...

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Nov 16 10:05 AM, Urner Barry

Real Pork Gets Real Results

Real Pork is the industry’s trust and image brand — it's how we differentiate pork from alternatives. NPB has promoted Real Pork in three key areas this year.

Real Pork is about leading the conversation with consumers and growing its future.

Recognizing what’s real about pork helps the industry bust myths about pig production. It also conveys pig farmers’ commitment to sustainability and promotes the nutritional value and usability of pork.

Today’s Sustainability Grows Tomorrow’s Pork
More than ever, consumers are choosing food products that are both nutritious and sustainable. NPB’s mission is to...

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Nov 11 9:42 AM, General News

Fresh Pork Prices Drift Lower as Ample Chicken Supply Offsets Pork/Beef Decline

Fresh pork prices continue to be pressured lower due to increased competition from chicken breasts at retail and seasonal decline in demand.


  • Fresh pork prices continue to be pressured lower due to increased competition from chicken breasts at retail and seasonal decline in demand.
  • Market for processing items is mixed. Pork belly prices are rangebound on higher seasonal supply and ample freezer inventories. Expectations are for belly prices to be higher in Q1 as supply will seasonally decline and processors will start to build inventories for...


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Nov 8 8:17 AM, General News

September Pork Exports Continue Upward Trend; Pace Cools for Beef

U.S. pork exports topped year-ago totals for the second consecutive month in September, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). September beef exports were below last year for the first time in 2022, but exports remain on a record pace through the first three quarters of the year.

Pork exports reached 222,202 metric tons (mt) in September, up 1% from a year ago. Export value increased 9% to $664.8 million – the highest since June 2021. Through September, pork exports were...

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Nov 7 8:56 AM, General News

Global Pork Quarterly Q4 2022: Producers Cautious as Global Uncertainties Rise

Demand uncertainties rise as consumers face mounting pressures. With inflation outpacing wage growth, lower real wages are expected to negatively impact protein consumption in Q4 2022 and 1H 2023.

Value-conscious consumers are already seeking out lower-value cuts, trading down from branded to private label alternatives at retail, and limiting foodservice purchases, adding further weakness to premium product markets. Holiday sales will test the market’s resilience and its ability to absorb premiums. Lower GDP growth expectations in 2023 will limit market needs, slow herd-rebuilding efforts, and impact...

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Nov 2 8:00 AM, General News

Strong Ham Prices Underpin Hog/Pork Prices in the Near Term

Slaughter is down almost 5% from 2019, exports to Mexico are record high, turkey prices are record high and cold storage inventory is down double digits. Expect ham prices to remain firm through the holidays this year.

Steiner and Company produces the Profit Maximizer report on behalf of National Pork Board based on information we believe is accurate and reliable. However neither NPB nor Steiner and Company warrants or guarantees the accuracy of or accepts any liability for the data, opinions or recommendations expressed.

- Hog futures were sharply...

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Oct 25 9:10 AM, General News

PODCAST: Risk management, hedging, HPAI, and more with CIH!

This week on market digest, host Laura Zinger speaks with Dan Roque of CIH! They discuss hedging and risk management in the protein markets, pork items filling the gaps in the poultry market due to HPAI, a supply side outlook, and more!

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Oct 24 3:04 PM, Urner Barry

SPAM® Sales Sizzle with the Help of Social Media

Spam, the square canned meat, with the iconic blue and yellow label, has been feeding families for more than 85 years. Hormel Foods says with the help of social media, it’s become even more popular.

Austin’s canned ham was made by Hormel Foods at the end of the depression in 1937 as an affordable and convenient meat option. The product, made up of only six ingredients, is now in more than 47 countries...

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Oct 14 8:00 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: Bone-in Hams Remain at 2nd Highest Levels on Record

On a monthly average basis, 23/27 bone-in pork hams have been at their 2nd highest levels on record since May, according to Urner Barry pricing which dates back to 1981...

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Oct 13 8:19 AM, Urner Barry

Farm Bureau, NPPC Present Prop 12 Arguments in Supreme Court

The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council presented oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. Micheal Clements shares more on the case that goes back to 2018.

Clements: Farm Bureau and the National Pork Producers Council challenged California’s Proposition 12 in the Supreme Court Tuesday. The case involves a law passed in 2018 that bans the sale of pork from hogs that don’t meet the state’s arbitrary production standards, even if the hogs were raised outside of California. AFBF Deputy General Counsel Travis Cushman says the...

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Oct 12 8:17 AM, General News

Pork Supply Growth to Remain Limited for Much of 2023

Hog breeding herd as of September 1 was estimated down from the previous quarter as well as 0.6% lower than a year ago. The pig crop through next Feb is expected to decline y/y, suggesting no supply growth through next summer.

Steiner and Company produces the Profit Maximizer report on behalf of National Pork Board based on information we believe is accurate and reliable. However neither NPB nor Steiner and Company warrants or guarantees the accuracy of or accepts any liability for the data, opinions or recommendations expressed...

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Oct 11 9:12 AM, General News

NPPC Latest Capital Update

Letter of Opposition for a Section 301 Investigation on Imports From Mexico

What happened? On Oct. 5, over 20 agricultural and industry associations, including National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), signed a letter urging USTR to reject the petition sent by a group of members of Congress to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) requesting a Section 301 investigation on fresh produce imports from Mexico.

What does this mean? Mexico is the largest value and volume market for U.S. pork. A Section 301 investigation would undermine the relationship with one of our largest agricultural trading...

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Oct 11 8:41 AM, General News

This Week in Retail: Varying Supplies, Weather Influence Retail Activity

This week, the retail landscape is influenced by an assortment of factors including varying supplies of protein and the weather. 

Looking at pork, hog supplies typically undergo a seasonal expansion from now into the early winter. October is National Pork Month and retailers usually promote pork features to boost sales as more product becomes available.

This year, however, persistent hog disease issues including porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) have kept supplies relatively snug. 

Hog values have depreciated since mid-summer and the national average hog price is currently down nearly 26% from August. Despite a seasonal correction, hog prices remain elevated at near all-time highs for this time of year. Urner Barry's wholesale pork cutout is down roughly 22% from its summer peak and is now 10% under 2021...

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Oct 6 8:10 AM, UB Newswires

Hormel® Black Label® Bacon Revives the Little Sizzlers® Original Pork Sausages for a Limited Time

The Makers of Hormel® Black Label® bacon brand is celebrating National Sausage Month during October in sizzling style. The brand team heard the pleas of sausage lovers far and wide and for a limited time, while supplies last, is bringing back its fan favorite Little Sizzlers™ original pork sausages at select retail locations for all October!

"Consumers asked, and we answered! We know that consumers have loved our Little Sizzlers™ sausages for years, and we're so excited to..."

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Oct 5 9:29 AM, General News

Fresh Pork Prices Trend Lower and Bellies Fail to Catch Up

The highest hog slaughter since early January and the increase in supply pressured pork prices lower overall, with retail product seeing the biggest impact.

Steiner and Company produces the Profit Maximizer report on behalf of National Pork Board based on information we believe is accurate and reliable. However neither NPB nor Steiner and Company warrants or guarantees the accuracy of or accepts any liability for the data, opinions or recommendations expressed.

- Hog slaughter last week was the highest since early January and the increase in supply pressured pork...

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Sep 27 8:31 AM, General News

Pig Farmers to Stand Trial at Supreme Court

On October 11th at the Supreme Court, America’s pork farmers will stand trial.

The formal question before the justices will be the constitutionality of California’s 2018 initiative-passed Proposition 12. If the farmers lose, a state will be allowed to enforce a regulation on out-of-state production methods. Historically, states could regulate only the character and quality of products made elsewhere (via product safety standards, for example), not the means of making them.

But alongside the constitutional question will be public judgment on the morality of American pig farming...

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Sep 27 8:00 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: The Differing Directions of Pork Trim and Picnics

In this brief analysis we will take a look at pork movement as we head into Fall, with two categories seeing opposite price action...

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Sep 23 10:03 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Protein Indices Are Above 3-Year Average; CPI Data Released 

In the face of ongoing inflationary pressures along with animal disease issues impacting the protein industry, wholesale beef, pork, and poultry prices continue to reside at or challenge all-time highs. 

In the retail red meat complex, Urner Barry’s weekly retail feature beef index this week averages $6.34 per pound, down $1.02 per pound from a week ago but 6 cents per pound above the 3-year average.

The boxed beef market is currently moving mostly sideways but has dipped to 52-week lows in recent days. Despite this, Urner Barry's Choice and Select cutouts remain at near seasonal all-time highs, second or third to 2021 and 2014....

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Sep 15 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

Lean Hog Futures Surge Despite Sell-Off in Outside Markets Tuesday

U.S. stocks plummeted on Tuesday following the latest CPI data, which showed larger than anticipated inflation numbers despite declining gas prices. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation rose 0.1 percent in August, contrary to expectations for a month-over-month decline in inflation from July to August after going unchanged in July. 

The BLS reported that annual inflation declined for a second consecutive month but remained historically high at 8.3 percent. The food index increased 11.4 percent over the last year. This was the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979.

The Dow declined nearly 4% while the Nasdaq shaved off 5.2%. The S&P 500 fell 4.3%. Tuesday marked the worst day for the three indices since June 2020. Economists are concerned that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates further to combat ongoing inflationary pressures...


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Sep 14 9:12 AM, UB Newswires

Country Music Superstar Luke Bryan Goes Back to His Roots to Support Pig Farmers

As part of its ongoing effort to dispel common misconceptions about modern pig farming, the National Pork Board is teaming up with country music superstar and five-time Entertainer of the Year winner, Luke Bryan. Drawing on his childhood upbringing on a Georgia farm, Bryan understands and appreciates the hard work more than 60,000 pig farmers across the United States put in every day.

“I have so much respect for pig farmers,” said Bryan. “I know how hard they work – from sun-up to sundown...

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Sep 13 8:35 AM, General News

Wright Brand Celebrates 100 Years of Bacon in the Place Where it all Started

Wright Brand knows there’s no place like home. That’s why the brand is celebrating its centennial anniversary in the place where it all started–Vernon, Texas. To mark the milestone, the brand is honoring the community with a one-day bacon festival on September 16, 2022, during which Vernon will be officially renamed Bacon City, USA, for the weekend.

The Bacon City, USA festival will commemorate 100 years since Roy Wright and Fay Eggleston mastered the creation of a thicker, fuller-flavored slice of bacon...

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Sep 12 9:31 AM, General News

July Beef Exports Stay on $1 Billion/Month Pace; Pork Exports Remain Below Last Year

U.S. beef exports again topped $1 billion in July and posted the fifth-largest volume on record, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports remained below last year’s pace but continued to gain strength in Colombia and the Caribbean and stayed above year-ago for Mexico, the leading destination for U.S. pork.

July beef exports totaled 126,567 metric tons (mt), up 3% year-over-year. Export value increased 7% to...

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Sep 9 8:00 AM, General News

CDFA Finalizes Proposition 12 Regulations—What Lies Ahead?

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has finalized the Proposition 12 implementation rules, which can be found here. The finalized regulations are similar to the second modified text, which was released in June of this year. 

According to an FAQ on CDFA's website, Proposition 12 is a "ballot initiative passed in 2018 by California voters that prohibits confining farm animals (egg-laying hens, veal calves and breeding pigs) in a cruel manner and prohibits the sale of products (eggs, veal meat and pork meat) from farm animals confined in a cruel manner into California commerce."

The law mandates minimum housing space requirements for breeding pigs, veal calves, and egg-laying hens and was originally set to begin on January 1, 2022. However, a ruling earlier this year delayed Proposition 12 for 180 days after the final rules went into effect...

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Sep 9 6:57 AM, UB Newswires

National Pork Board Reinforces Pork's Nutritional Value Through Its Newest Platform - Ponle Pork

Celebrity Couple Jorge Bernal and Karla Birbragher are Kicking Off Ponle Pork, Showcasing Exciting Ways to Add This Latino Favorite Super Protein to Any Recipe in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The National Pork Board is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with celebrity ambassador couple Jorge Bernal (TV personality) and Karla Birbragher (celebrity stylist) with their newest platform – Ponle Pork. The ambassadors, along with six content creators from key Hispanic markets, will reinforce pork's superior nutritional value by showcasing exciting ways to add this protein to any meal...

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Sep 8 8:21 AM, General News

China’s Pork Market Starts a New Cycle: A Different Cycle in a Transitional Time

China’s pork market started a new cycle around mid-2022. This cycle will be different from previous ones, as market conditions have changed a lot. We expect to see less price volatility, a shorter length, and more government monitoring. Policies, a new industry structure, sustainability concerns, and consumer trends will continue to influence the market’s development.

This cycle will offer market opportunities to both...

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Sep 7 1:07 PM, General News

ANALYSIS: Pork trim has lost up to 40% since Mid-August

Over the last two weeks, pork 42s, 72s, and boneless picnics (72% lean point) have seen significant declines in value...

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Sep 2 8:37 AM, Urner Barry

Pork Prices Drop, Offer Feature Opportunities for Post Labor Day Needs

Due to the seasonal increase in supply, a slowdown in export sales and inventory depletion, prices collapsed far more quickly than expected.

Steiner and Company produces the Profit Maximizer report on behalf of National Pork Board based on information we believe is accurate and reliable. However neither NPB nor Steiner and Company warrants or guarantees the accuracy of or accepts any liability for the data, opinions or recommendations expressed.

- While we expected pork prices to be lower in the fall, prices collapsed far more quickly than we thought...

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Aug 30 8:00 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: What is happening with boneless pork butts?

The boneless butt market was recently encountering a price correction, but over the last two weeks, it has started to level out as participants have found attractive price points...

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Aug 25 9:33 AM, Urner Barry

Steakholder Foods Initiates Cultured Pork Development Using a Porcine Cell Line

Steakholder Foods Ltd., an international deep-tech food company at the forefront of the cultured meat industry, is pleased to announce that it will begin developing cultured pork products from a new line of iPS porcine cells.

The new stem cell line was derived from sampled cells that were reprogrammed back into an embryonic-like pluripotent state. This enables one cell bank to become an unlimited and highly scalable source for developing any type of muscle or fat cells for cultured meat production.

Steakholder Foods has partnered with a...

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Aug 23 8:22 AM, General News

Pork Prices Remain Firm on Lower Y/Y Slaughter, Tight Spot Supplies

- Tight hog supplies and shrinking margin forced packers to limit slaughter on Friday and Saturday. In the near term this will tend to keep pork prices elevated but eventually we think the seasonal increase in supply will catch up with the pork market.
- Expectations are for processing items (hams, bellies, trim) to move lower into September as hog slaughter should be about 200k head/week higher than currently. Cooler temperatures should also result in higher hog weights.
- Fresh pork prices are finding some near-term support given...

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Aug 19 9:46 AM, General News

This Week in Retail: Beef Features Increase Ahead of Labor Day

It may be hard to believe, but Labor Day weekend is just over two weeks away.

Grocers have already completed the bulk of their purchases for the last major grilling occasion of the summer season. 

The meat case could perform well over the holiday with several popular grilling items featured at lower price points compared to last year. Ground beef is likely to grab a large share of circular space as households fire up the grill with burgers and more...

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Aug 18 8:12 AM, UB Newswires

ANALYSIS: What is driving the strength behind pork trim? Demand, supply, or both?

As we currently sit in the second week of August, prices of fresh 42%, 72% and 72% lean boneless picnic trim are historically elevated...

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Aug 12 9:12 AM, Urner Barry

First-Half Beef Exports on $1 Billion/Month Pace; Pork Exports Below Last Year

U.S. beef exports remained on a red-hot pace in June, topping $1 billion for the fifth time this year (after twice hitting $1 billion in 2021), according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Exports of U.S. pork remained below last year’s large totals in June, while lamb exports continued to trend higher.

June beef exports totaled 130,638 metric tons (mt), down slightly from the record volume posted in May but up 16%...

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Aug 8 8:04 AM, General News

Seasonal Supply Lows Pressuring Spot Market Prices

Supplies are in line with the projections from the latest hog inventory data. Market participants seem surprised by the seasonal shortfall. Hog and pork prices are firm in the near term.

- Hog slaughter was under 2.3 million head for the 5th consecutive week. While supplies are in line with the projections from the latest hog inventory data, nonetheless market participants seem surprised by the seasonal shortfall. Hog and pork prices are firm in the near term.
­ Lower than expected pork prices in May and June appear to have bought some demand in July and... 

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Aug 4 8:00 AM, General News

This Week in Retail: Wrapping Up July; Digesting the Latest GDP Data  

Wrapping up July, grocers are promoting fan-favorite grilling items like steaks, pork chops, and shrimp in an effort to encourage at-home cooking during the dog days of summer—a seasonally sluggish period for meat sales.

Seafood features make up nearly 33% of total protein ad volume this week, marking the fifth consecutive week that it has seized the top spot. Beef comes in second with 23%, closely followed by pork with 22%. Chicken claims 17.5% and eggs make up 1.3% of ad space, down from nearly 5% the week...


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Jul 28 8:57 AM, UB Newswires

Global Pork Quarterly Q3 2022: ASF, Inflation, & Policies Challenge Growth While Trade Odds Rise

Global pork trade should pick up in the second half of 2022. A slight easing of feed costs and resilient consumer demand are improving market prospects. Still, challenges to growth remain as African swine fever continues to spread and inflation impacts trade policies.

Feed and energy costs are offering a break, but not quite relief. Feed input prices have softened in some markets but are expected to stay relatively strong for the rest of 2022. This will lessen the pressure on producers to some extent...


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Jul 27 9:12 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: Why Have Pork Exports to Japan Decreased?

With the Japanese Yen weakening against the US dollar, it is no wonder that exports are well under year ago levels on a weekly and monthly basis for 2022...

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Jul 22 9:05 AM, Urner Barry

Pork Checkoff: Mixed Signals in the Market as Some Items Struggle, Others Trade Firm

The cure for high prices is high prices — lack of features and ample inventory cause prices to adjust and create future opportunities.

• Following the record-breaking levels of a year ago, backribs are now at the lowest levels of the past five years. Prices may need to stay low for a bit longer to “buy” some demand from retail and foodservice. For operators, current prices present excellent feature opportunities.

• Pork prices were firm at the end of the week on seasonally lower slaughter as well...

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Jul 21 8:00 AM, General News

NPPC Applauds Announcement of New U.S.-Philippine African Swine Fever Project

Today, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and leaders from the Philippine Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to announce the launch of a new project titled “Capacity building in risk assessment to support safe international trade of U.S. pork products in the Philippines” to address challenges related to African swine fever (ASF).

“NPPC is proud to have worked with the Philippine government, U.S. government, and the University of Minnesota to see this grant proposal..."

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Jul 21 8:00 AM, General News

Blimpie Introduces an All-New Pulled Pork Sub and Brings Back a Pulled Pork Favorite

Blimpie® (, America's Sub Shop®, is introducing a new Cuban Pulled Pork sub and welcoming the return of the Spicy Pork Sub, both available for a limited time. Beginning July 5, guests can try the two pulled pork subs at Blimpie locations nationwide.

Promotional Sandwiches:

- Cuban Pulled Pork: Tender pulled pork and ham, topped with Swiss cheese, pickles, and stone-ground mustard
- Spicy Pork: Tender pulled pork drizzled with Hot Sauce and Sweet Baby Rays® BBQ sauce, topped with cheddar cheese and...

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Jul 5 8:37 AM, General News

This Week in Retail: This Year's July Fourth Cookout Could be Costlier 

Consumers might sweat when shopping for July Fourth festivities since this year's cookout could be costlier than in years past.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation remains elevated at a multi-decade high with the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rising 14.2% over the last 12 months.

Despite higher retail prices and squeezed budgets, most households are forging ahead with their Independence Day plans. According to the National Retail Federation, 84% of consumers plan to celebrate the Fourth this year.

Of those, 59% of people plan to ring in Independence Day with a cookout...

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Jun 30 8:42 AM, UB Newswires

Another $1 Billion Month for Beef Exports; Pork Exports Remain Below Year-Ago

U.S. beef exports maintained a remarkable pace in April, topping $1 billion for the third time this year, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). April pork exports were well below the large totals posted a year ago, while lamb exports continued to trend higher.

Beef exports totaled 124,408 metric tons (mt) in April, up 3% from a year ago and the fifth largest on record, while export value soared 33% to $1.05 billion – second...

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Jun 10 6:00 AM, General News

This Week in Retail: Competing Proteins for Father’s Day

Father’s Day, the second major grilling event of the season, is just 10 days away. Front-page circular ads are showcasing meat and poultry cuts along with other foods for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Grocers will be competing with foodservice for consumer dollars this holiday. According to the National Restaurant Association, Father’s Day is the third busiest day of the year for dining out, behind Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

The most recent National Retail Federation data shows that consumers plan to spend $32.29 million on Father’s Day dinner or brunch this year, up slightly from last year’s figure...

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Jun 9 8:30 AM, UB Newswires

Latest Maersk Cold Storage Facility Set to Open in New Jersey This Fall

A cold storage facility serving both imports and exports of fish, poultry, beef, pork, fruits and vegetables will open in Dayton, New Jersey in October, Performance Team – A Maersk Company, announced on June 6.

Maersk explained that end-to-end supply chain solutions are made by the company’s Oceans services calling APM Terminals Elizabeth, New Jersey that can be integrated with Maersk Customs Services, USA Inc. customs clearance expertise and Performance Team – A Maersk Company’s 60+ warehouses and Transportation services - designed to serve storage, fulfillment...

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Jun 8 9:39 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: First Half of The Year Update: What’s going on with Bellies?

2022 has been a wildly volatile year for light skinless bellies. We started the year reaching all-time weekly highs on 9/13 skinless bellies from February 14 through the week of March 28. Immediately following this...

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Jun 3 9:24 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Prepping for the Next Major Summer Grilling Occasion

Grocers will soon be featuring meat and poultry cuts for Father’s Day, the second major grilling event of the season that falls between Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Typically, June is the most active time of the year for backyard grilling as the warmer weather beckons families to cook outdoors. Grocers will try to encourage shoppers to cook at home rather than dining out for Father's Day this year by featuring popular grilling items at attractive price points when possible...


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Jun 2 9:00 AM, UB Newswires

USMEF Spring Conference Spotlights U.S.-China Trade Relations, Innovative Promotions for US Red Meat

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) concluded its spring conference Friday in San Antonio. The three-day meeting examined a number of key issues for U.S. exporters while also updating members on promotional activities for U.S. pork, beef and lamb in a wide range of international markets.

Thursday’s general session focused on agricultural trade relations between the U.S. and China, including a deep dive into the market access gains achieved for U.S. beef and pork through the 2020 Phase One Trade and Economic Agreement...


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May 31 9:09 AM, General News

USMEF Spring Conference Examines Strong Global Demand Tempered by Growing Economic Challenges

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Spring Conference got underway Wednesday in San Antonio, attracting a diverse range of participants including pork, beef, lamb, corn and soybean producers, as well as packers, processors, exporters and traders from throughout the United States.

USMEF Chair Mark Swanson, who recently founded food safety consulting firm Tru Grit KGMS Enterprises LLC, welcomed attendees and urged them to take the opportunity to visit one-on-one with a strong contingent of USMEF’s international staff from Asia, Mexico...

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May 27 8:54 AM, Urner Barry

This Week in Retail: Protein Features for Memorial Day Weekend

For Memorial Day weekend, beef features steal the spotlight with 30% of total protein ad volume. Seafood claims 28.5%, followed by pork with 23%. Chicken features account for 15% of retail buying opportunities, while turkey sneaks in with 1.6%.

In the beef complex, steaks have nearly 48% of feature volume. Ground beef ads account for 30%. The steak complex averages $9.18 per pound, up $1.15 per pound from a year ago. All except for top round and bone-in rib are priced higher than a year ago.

The price of 80% lean ground beef averages slightly above a year ago at $3.32 per pound. Burgers are often favored as a cost-effective and easy way to feed large gatherings...

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May 26 8:00 AM, UB Newswires

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

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

Beef Export Value Sets Another Record; Pork Exports Improve but Remain Below Last Year’s Total

U.S. beef exports soared to another new value record in March, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). March pork exports were the largest so far this year but well below the record-large totals posted in March 2021. Lamb exports continued to gain momentum in March, reaching the third largest monthly volume on record and the highest value in nearly eight years.

Beef exports totaled 126,285 metric tons (mt) in March, up 1% from a...

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May 6 8:09 AM, General News

Global Demand for U.S. Beef Continues to Soar; Pork Exports Below Last Year

U.S. beef exports posted another strong performance in February, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), led by excellent value growth in key Asian and Latin American markets. Pork exports trended lower year-over-year, as larger shipments to Mexico and Japan did not offset the continued decline in demand from China/Hong Kong. Lamb exports continued to gain momentum, reaching the highest monthly value since 2014.

“Rarely have we seen so many outside forces creating headwinds for..."

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Apr 7 9:29 AM, General News

Pork Producers Press Politicians on Public Policies

Preparing for and preventing foreign animal diseases, addressing an agricultural labor shortage, and increasing pork exports are the top public-policy issues pork producers will lobby their congressional lawmakers on over the next two days. During the spring Capitol Hill fly-in of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), nearly 100 producers from across the country are expected to participate — in person for the first time in two years — in NPPC’s Legislative Action Conference.

“Challenges facing our industry continue to evolve, and we hope our efforts this week help lawmakers understand..."

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Apr 7 8:00 AM, General News

Pork Industry Priorities Included in Spending Bill

Congress in early March approved a $1.5 trillion fiscal 2022 budget bill, which keeps government programs running through Sept. 30 and has $730 billion for non-defense spending, including $25.1 billion for agricultural programs, mostly for USDA, with significant amounts dedicated to addressing foreign animal diseases (FADs).

Thanks to the advocacy efforts of NPPC — literally hounding lawmakers about appropriating adequate funds to prevent, prepare for and respond to FADs and arguing for other priorities — Congress listened, giving the pork industry almost everything it requested.

It’s been a difficult Congress to...

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Mar 31 8:00 AM, General News

Supreme Court to Hear NPPC Case Against Prop 12

The U.S. Supreme Court at its Mar. 25 conference agreed to hear a case brought by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) against California’s Proposition 12, which bans the sale of pork from hogs born to sows that weren’t raised according to the state’s “arbitrary” production standards.

“We are extremely pleased that the Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Proposition 12, in which California seeks to impose regulations targeting farming practices outside its borders that would stifle interstate and international commerce..." 

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Mar 29 7:59 AM, General News

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: 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

Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program Eligibility Broadened

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced it has modified the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program (SMHPP) eligibility requirements to capture more hog sales. The program — announced last year — provides payments to pork producers who made spot market transactions between April 16 and Sept. 1, 2020.

The clarified eligibility requirements expand the agency’s interpretation of “spot market sales” and “sale to a packer” to better reflect the nontraditional types of transactions made during that period, including sales to dealers, cull markets, meat lockers, intermediaries and others.

“The changes to SMHPP..."

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Mar 18 8:29 AM, General News

CBP Officers Seize 124 Pounds of Prohibited Fresh Pork, Poultry Meat at Laredo Port of Entry

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, agriculture specialists at Laredo Port of Entry in a single enforcement action seized over 120 pounds of prohibited fresh pork and poultry meat.

“This significant prohibited meat seizure exemplifies the importance of CBP’s agriculture mission in preventing the spread of potential animal diseases that could risk public safety and inflict harm on our nation’s agricultural economy,” said Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry.

The interception occurred on Tuesday, March 15 when a white minivan...

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Mar 17 8:00 AM, General News

Strong Momentum Continues for U.S. Beef Exports; Pork Exports Trend Lower

Coming off a record-breaking performance in 2021, U.S. beef exports remained red-hot in January, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports continued to trend lower in January, despite another outstanding month for exports to leading market Mexico.

Beef exports totaled 119,066 metric tons (mt), up 13% from a year ago, while value soared 57% to $1.03 billion. This was the third-highest value total on record – trailing only August and November of last year – and export...


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Mar 15 8:35 AM, General News

Dierks Inducted into Pork Industry Hall of Fame

For his 40 years serving U.S. pork producers, including 20 years as CEO of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and his dedication and countless contributions to the pork industry, Neil Dierks today was inducted into the National Pork Industry Hall of Fame at NPPC’s annual business meeting — the National Pork Industry Forum — held here.

Dierks, who retired in December 2021 after 31 years with NPPC, helped develop the organization that was born after the separation agreement that created the National Pork Board. He became the first CEO of the reconstituted NPPC...

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Mar 11 8:33 AM, General News

NPB’s Mission to Make Pork a Leading, Sustainable Protein Choice

The 2022 U.S. Pork Industry Sustainability Report establishes the We Care® Ethical Principles as tools to measure on-farm sustainability efforts.

National Pork Board released its official U.S. Pork Industry Sustainability Report as a part of its continuous efforts to produce a leading, sustainable protein choice.

NPB announced the action-based and producer-developed goals and metrics in a Checkoff-funded producer webinar last month, in partnership with AgriPulse. Experts spoke about how the goals align with the six We Care® Ethical Principles, how producers can measure their...

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Mar 8 9:26 AM, General News

Forseth New NPPC Director of Animal Health

The National Pork Producers Council has hired Dr. Anna Forseth for the newly created position of director of animal health. She will focus on foreign animal disease prevention and preparedness, as well as antibiotic use and resistance issues.

“We welcome Dr. Forseth to the NPPC team,” said NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys. “She has a wealth of knowledge about hogs and swine diseases and a great background in swine research. We know she will be a great asset to and resource for the U.S. pork industry.”

A Montana native who grew...

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Mar 8 8:16 AM, General News

Carando® Brings Robust Flavor to the Dinner Table with its New Sweet Italian Sausage

Carando®, the artisan of Classic Italian Meats, is expanding its offerings with the launch of Sweet Italian Sausage. Using Carando's time-honored recipe, the new dinner links are prepared with 100% pork and blended with Italian herbs and spices to deliver a complex, robust, and authentic taste.

Convenient and easy-to-prepare, Carando's flavor-packed Sweet Italian Sausage helps turn a weeknight dinner with family or a weekend gathering with friends into an unforgettable dining experience. The links pair perfectly and effortlessly with a...

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Mar 4 8:00 AM, General News

Mar 3 10:26 AM, Urner Barry

State of the Market Episode 27: Pork Cold Storage

Introducing State of the Market First Timer, Ryan Hojnowski! Laura and Ryan, our newest pork market analyst, walk through the state of cold storage for the pork market, all-time hog prices, competing proteins, disease issues, and more!

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Analysis: Experts Discuss U.S. Pork Export Data and NPB Diversification Strategy

NPB hosted a webinar following the report release to help pork producers understand the publicly available information.

The National Pork Board hosted a webinar on February 11 where experts spoke on the 2021 year-end U.S. pork export data, NPB’s international marketing strategy and their estimates for 2022 forecasting.

On February 8, USDA released the year-end export data. In 2021, U.S. pork exports set a new value record topping $8 billion for the first time. Export volume was down 2% from the 2020 record...

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Feb 25 8:50 AM, General News

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

NPB Announces Pork Industry Sustainability Goals and Metrics, Releases First Official Report

More than half of U.S. consumers have made some modest changes in their purchasing decisions to be more sustainable, according to the Global Sustainability Study 2021.1

Today, the National Pork Board (NPB) shared more about its industry’s aspiration to produce a leading sustainable protein choice, with an announcement of goals and metrics and its first official U.S. Pork Industry Sustainability Report.

Sustainability Goals Developed By Pork Producers
The goals and report are part of the NPB’s sustainability efforts, which are led by producers and funded by their...

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Feb 18 9:03 AM, General News

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: 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

2021 Beef Exports Shatter Previous Records; Pork Export Value Also Reaches New High

U.S. beef exports greatly exceeded previous volume and value records in 2021, surpassing $10 billion for the first time, according to year-end data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports finished slightly below the record volume reached in 2020 but set a new value record, topping $8 billion for the first time.

December beef exports totaled 121,429 metric tons (mt), up 1% from a year ago, while value climbed 33% to $991.8 million – the third largest...

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Feb 14 8:49 AM, General News

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

NPB Announces New Staff Leadership Positions

The National Pork Board (NPB) today announced recent staff leadership changes to help ensure its ability to deliver on pork producer priorities for their Checkoff: to build trust in, and add value to, U.S. pork while also protecting the industry’s freedom to operate.

Dustin (Dusty) Oedekoven, DVM, will join NPB as the organization’s new chief veterinarian on Feb. 25, 2022. Dr. Oedekoven will lead a team of veterinarians and swine production experts in Pork Checkoff-funded work to deliver on the No. 1 concern for pork producers – foreign animal disease (FAD) preparedness and protecting...

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Jan 28 8:10 AM, General News

Higher Wages, Input Costs, Supply Chain Problems Affecting Pork Prices, Not 'Concentration'

In a report issued today, economists with Iowa State University, North Carolina State University and the National Pork Producers Council found that pork prices have risen because of strong demand for U.S. pork, higher input costs and labor shortages throughout the supply chain, not concentration in the meatpacking industry. The report’s authors, Iowa State’s Dermot Hayes, NC State’s Barry Goodwin and NPPC’s Holly Cook, also found that pork prices in the United States are still lower than in many other countries.

The pork packing industry is made...

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Jan 26 9:29 AM, General News

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

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