Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Market Price" on Beef?

I am sure you all are familiar with how the market has been for beef. Newsflash!..... We have seen it all over the news last year, and predictions are holding true as we head into spring. There is no reprieve, as there is no end in sight according to most experts.  It will continue to hit the pocket books of all meat lovers.

Attribute the harsh winter we all just endured throughout the Midwest and a lingering drought in California... the U.S. cattle herd supply has simply been declining. Supermarkets and restaurants must face some decisions with what and how much they charge customers, and it is almost becoming necessary to make price changes weekly.

This past winter, one we'll never forget, started with more than 43,000 cattle lost in October during an early snow storm in South Dakota. In February, the industry saw the lowest cattle slaughter rate since 2006 and the lowest overall number of cattle, a number not seen since the 50's. Not good news as we currently see beef prices climbing more than 20%. If you are thinking about buying more pork, don't expect any reprieve because the USDA is predicting prices to climb this summer too.

Another prediction, this time from a radio show I recently heard: some restaurants may start to  list "market price" next to certain cuts of beef.  
On restaurant menus, you typically see the term listed next to items such as lobster, crab legs or smoked salmon. It is pretty uncommon to see that listing next to a cut of beef though.

The term "market price" is defined as the economic price for which a good or service is offered in the market place. The fluctuation of these items in the market typically results in weekly decisions on what you are going to charge - whether it's from the supermarket or a restaurant.  

What is interesting is at this point... consumer demand for beef is still at a very high level. This in part because consumers have been hearing of these high prices for the last year or more. Consumers are expecting the price to be higher and continue to have the "get it before prices go even higher" attitude. It has not gotten to the point that these items may be looked at as a splurge item when dining out, but you never know.

Whether your preferred cut of beef is a splurge or simply a must have, you can always find a great plate here at the Uptown!

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