Steak prices drop as consumers look for less pricey meat

Beef steaks are displayed in the meat section at a Safeway store on June 08, 2022 in San Anselmo, California.
Beef steaks are displayed in the meat section at a Safeway store on June 08, 2022 in San Anselmo, California. Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
By , Audacy

While in years past, Americans would often shy away from red meats for their health, they now tend to be doing it due to high prices. Because of this, the price for some meats like steak has dropped, while other cuts have risen.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the price for uncooked steak fell by 1.5% annually in July. But that's not all, as it was also down 1% from June with consumers looking for less expensive meats.

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This has caused a flip in the market as prices for the usually cheaper ground beef have started to soar, rising by 9.7% compared to a year ago.

For ribeye and beef loin cuts, costs went the other way, going down nearly 10% compared to last year, with brisket down 18%, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Prices for groceries have been all over the place, with inflation impacting shopping habits creating shortages, and vice versa. Even with the consumer price index dropping to 8.5% in July, food at home prices has surged by 13.1%, the largest increase since March 1979.

The decline in higher-end beef cuts has also impacted other meats like chicken, which has seen growing popularity with people looking to spend less.

A study published last month by the National Chicken Council found that Americans are purchasing more chicken than any other type of protein. In addition, the study found that 37% of Americans plan to consume more chicken than any other meat over the next 6 to 12 months.

This comes as prices for cuts of chicken have also fallen, with chicken wings dropping to pre-pandemic levels last month. The average cost for a pound of chicken wings in July was $1.68, the lowest monthly average since May 2020, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

Regarding beef prices, they are expected to remain low for the time being, as drought resulted in more cattle being sent to slaughter. However, dwindling herds have industry experts worried that prices could be higher in the future, Fox News reported.

Colin Woodall, the CEO of National Cattleman's Beef Association, shared with Fox News that they do think prices are on an upward trend.

"We do expect the prices to continue upwards, but everybody has to remember that it's not cattle producers setting that price," Woodall said.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images