Inflation-weary shoppers are pulling back on buying expensive steaks and switching to cheaper chicken at the grocery store.
Tyson, the meat processing giant, said Monday that “demand for chicken is extremely strong,” while demand for its higher-priced cuts of beef has softened.
The company said its average sales price for chicken grew during its latest quarter, while the average price for beef and pork fell as consumers balked at some premium cuts. Meat prices skyrocketed in 2021, but some items have fallen in recent months.
Consumer demand for meat remains strong, Tyson said, but consumers are shifting between meats because of inflation. The company plans to launch new lower-priced options and also add new larger package sizes for consumers searching for value.
Tyson is not the only company to notice shifts in shoppers’ purchasing habits. Consumers are dealing with the highest inflation in more than 40 years and many are making trade-offs.
Kroger (KR) said in June that budget-constrained shoppers were buying fewer items in stores, favoring Kroger’s cheaper store brands instead of name brands, and switching from buying beef to pork.
Walmart (WMT) in May said some consumers were switching from buying gallons of milk to half-gallons and switching from name-brand lunch and deli meat, bacon and dairy products to store brands.
Treehouse Foods (THS), a leading manufacturer of store brands for Walmart and other retailers, also said Monday that private labels were becoming a more appealing option for shoppers squeezed by inflation.