If your Memorial Day plans include putting some beef on the grill, USDA Livestock Analyst Shayle Shagam warns about sticker shock at the beef counter.
Shagam says beef prices are at record highs right now, fresh beef averaging almost 11 percent higher than this time last year.
Wholesale beef set records back in April when many of the supermarkets were buying beef for the weekend.
Even with Memorial weekend specials, Shagam says beef will cost more than last year. Pork though, is even higher, it’s up 16 percent from last year. And chicken is up 5 percent from last year.
Chicken drumsticks are finding their way to American dinner tables as a slowdown in exports has kept more of the dark meat in U.S. grocery stores and warehouses.
Historically, chicken and dark meat has largely been exported from the U.S. by chicken companies because consumers here favor the white meat chicken breast. But, analysts are saying the low-priced meat may be an easy sell with unemployment rates high and a record 44.2 million Americans on food stamps.
An economist at Poultry Perspective says lower priced chicken on the shelves is bound to draw consumers away from the higher-priced beef and pork.