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Beef is on the Menu

When they go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner, more consumers are choosing beef. Currently, 97 percent of restaurants report offering beef dishes1, which has been shown to increase restaurant traffic by 45 percent2. This data directly correlates to many Beef Checkoff efforts dedicated toward monitoring market trends and consumer interests and responding accordingly.

Overall, beef demand is up 15 percent since 20123. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is predicting strong consumer demand to continue through 2019, with U.S. consumers anticipated to consume nearly 9 percent more beef this year than in 20154.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), contractor to the Beef Checkoff, oversees the iconic Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand—a platform that not only promotes beef, but also monitors market trends and obtains consumer insights. By investing dollars in crucial market research, the checkoff is driving beef demand. To better understand foodservice-beef trends, completes an annual foodservice volumetric study through its iconic Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand. This study measures operator purchases and distributor sales of beef and other proteins across all foodservice operator segments. Beef is the most prominent ingredient at these establishments, accounting for 16 percent of total foodservice food and non-alcohol purchases5.

For the beef industry to remain successful, it must recognize what consumers want. They hold the purchasing power; therefore, it is essential the beef industry responds to their requests and decision-making patterns. The NCBA monitors and measures consumer attitudes on a monthly basis. The Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand has had an extremely positive impact on consumers’ perception of beef. According to the checkoff-funded Consumer Beef Tracker, people are more likely to feel positive about beef and more likely to eat beef more often when they are aware of the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand.

Consumers trust producers to deliver a superior beef product. Over the last decade, cattle producers have responded to trends calling for higher-quality beef, delivering more USDA prime- and choice-graded beef products. The choice/prime percentage moved from 55 percent in 2007 to 79 percent in 2018 and is projected to reach 80 percent this year.

With the checkoff gaining insight and data into market trends and consumer interests, the beef industry is better equipped to meet purchasing trends. Beef Checkoff research is identifying market opportunities and utilizing dollars to promote beef within different segments of the foodservice and retail chain.

Consumers want beef. From burgers to high-end steaks, restaurant owners recognize the economic incentive of offering beef on their menus. Producer-invested-checkoff dollars are arming the beef industry with insider knowledge so beef can continue to reign.

  1. 2017 Usage and Volumetric Assessment of Beef in Foodservice study
  2. USDA World Agriculture Supply and Demand estimates, March 8, 2018
  3. IRI/Freshlook retail sales data is available with 5-6 years of history, hence, the January 2012 starting date for these indices.
  4. USDA ERS Livestock & Meat Domestic Data; USDA WASDE 7/12/18
  5. Usage and Volumetric Assessment of Beef in Foodservice 2018 Edition, Technomic, 2019.

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