This year’s per capita meat consumption is expected to fall for the first time since 2014, according to researchers at the University of Missouri Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. The reduction in demand for animal products is expected to affect cow, pig, and turkey farmers most and last until at least 2025.
The reduction is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a significant increase in the unemployment rate that coincided with increased meat prices. In recent months, meat shortages have emerged due to slaughterhouse closures and other disruptions to the meat supply chain after thousands of meat industry workers across the country tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, trade group Plant Based Foods Association revealed that vegan meat sales spiked by 148 percent during the peak-buying period in March and continued to grow by 61 percent in the next four weeks, representing a growth rate that is twice as fast as animal-based meat.