Lamb sales remain high
Retail lamb sales are still on the rise in 2021.
Megan Wortman, executive director of the American Lamb Board, says lamb sales increased during the pandemic and they don’t appear to be slowing down.
“All fresh meat sales really saw a huge spike in the spring of 2020, including lamb,” she says. “In the early months lamb may have been the only option available, but we do know through retail scanner data that many consumers picked up lamb for the first time during the pandemic and have come back to purchase more in 2020 and early 2021.”
Lamb retail sales, domestic and imported, increased 17 percent to 9 million pounds in 2020, according to data from the 2021 Power of Meat survey.
Wortman says the increase couldn’t have come for a better time for the industry.
“Especially with the loss of our foodservice sales,” she says. “Pre-pandemic, about 50 percent of our lamb was sold into foodservice, which was primarily fine dining, hotels, cruise ships, the places that got hit hard.”
She says it has also helped that consumers are preparing and eating more meals at home.
“According to the Power of the Meat survey, even in early 2021, 68 percent of consumers are buying a wider variety of meat types and cuts,” she says. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to educate consumers and inspire them to increase their usage of lamb specifically at home.”
The American Lamb Checkoff is helping consumers learn more about what lamb offers, how to prepare it, and opportunities for families to explore different flavors.