Meat Featured in More Homecooked Meals, Part of Healthy Diet in '20
American shoppers rang up record purchases of beef, pork, poultry and lamb during the pandemic and considered it part of a healthy diet, according to a new national analysis from the Meat Institute and the food industry association FMI.
The Power of Meat study recently released showed most American homes, 98.4%, bought meat last year. Of those, 43% reported buying more meat than before the pandemic because they’re cooking more at home.
Consumers’ opinions about meat in their diet also changed. Now, three out of every four Americans agree meat belongs in healthy, balanced diets -- a nearly 20% gain since 2020. Another 94% reported buying meat as a high-quality protein.
With dining options restricted early during the pandemic, home-prepared meals peaked at 89% in April and stayed as high as 84% through December. Millennials, who are most likely to eat out, felt the largest impact.
One shopping trend that grew from pandemic restrictions may become permanent even as restrictions ease. The number of meat-buying consumers who bought groceries online increased 40% last year, and 59% reported they anticipate buying the same amount online this year.
“Shoppers are cooking more at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and their confidence in cooking and preparing meat has increased,” Rick Stein, FMI vice president of fresh foods, said in a statement.
The study was conducted by 210 Analytics on behalf of FMI and the Meat Institute’s Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education.