Ground beef market unaffected by LFTB controversy

Supermarket News, a weekly trade publication for the food distribution industry says “ground beef sales have been unaffected by the controversy.” The report quotes Sherry Frey, vice president of account services at the Nielsen Perishables Group who says they didn’t see any notable decline. “In the 52 weeks ending August 25, ground beef volume has declined 3.2% compared to last year, but this decline is actually less than the total beef category’s decline of 4.8%.” Frey says that is mostly due to retail prices being higher because of availability and feed prices.” She says they have noticed more people buying chicken in recent weeks because of the beef prices.

While many retailers stopped handling product containing LFTB, Hy-Vee stores started labeling the product with “may contain lean finely textured beef”. Southeast Region meat supervisor Kurt Johnson says once consumers learned it was beef and it was safe, “it became a non-issue”. Johnson says “People just want to know what’s in their product.” In fact, sales of product containing LFTB have picked-up a bit lately because “it’s a more affordable option for a lot of people right now.”

The report’s author, Jenna Telesca concludes; “it’s clear that retailers don’t see the LFTB controversy as the culprit behind any sales declines.”

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