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As spring arrives, consumers willing to spend more on hamburger

6 months, 4 weeks ago from cattlenetwork.com

Birds are chirping, trees are budding and consumers appearing to be willing to open their wallets a little wider for hamburger, according to the March Food Demand Surveyfrom Oklahoma State University’s Department of Agriculture Economics.

After dropping to $4.06 per pound in February, consumers responding to the survey indicated a willingness to pay $4.28 per pound for hamburger in March, an increase of 5.42 percent. According to the latest retail beef information from USDA, prices for 90 percent lean and higher ground beef ranged from $2.99 to $4.99 across the United States from March 14-20.

Consumers were also willing to pay more for deli ham (up 11.68 percent to $2.20 per pound), pork chops (up 2.31 percent to $3.55 per pound) and pasta (up 3.77 percent to $2.75). Willingness-to-pay feel for chicken products fell compared to February, with chicken wings falling 19.52 percent to $2.02 per pound. Steak also dropped compared to the February survey to $6.59, a 4.07 percent decrease. Overall, consumers expected higher prices for beef prices in the coming weeks.

Taste, safety and price continue to be consumers’ top values related to their food purchasing decisions, and they reported that their main challenge this month was finding affordable foods. Consumers indicated that losing weight was a bigger challenge compared to February, and more respondents reported having food poisoning.

Four new ad hoc questions were added to the March survey to better understand consumer knowledge of food prices and food shopping habits. First, when asked for their best estimate of the average grocery store, supermarket and wholesale store prices for ground beef, chicken breast and pork chops, the range for responses varied by $2 or more for each product The median estimates were $3.25 per pound, $3.00 per pound and $3.49 per pound for ground beef, chicken breast and pork chops, respectively. Actual retail prices, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and USDA Economic Research Service, were $3.47 per pound for ground beef, $3.43 per pound for chicken breasts, and $3.72 per pound for pork chops.

When asked how confident they were with the price estimates they made, consumers were more confident of their beef and chicken estimates than they were for pork.

The majority of consumers reported visiting two or three unique grocery stores, supermarkets or wholesale stores within the last month. Finally, survey respondents were asked about their use of loyalty cards when they grocery shop. According to the survey, 32 percent of participants reported using a loyalty card 75 to 100 percent of the time, but 24 percent said they never use a loyalty card when shopping. 


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