December, 2004 -- The United States? meat market is as bustling as ever, reports news source MSNBC.
Sales for red meat are predicted to top $44 billion this year, up 18 percent in just three years and nearly 40 percent since 1999, according to the consumer research trend-tracking firm, Mintel.
Lamb is up more than 7 percent since 2002, while beef and pork have risen nearly 20 percent and more than 13 percent, respectively. One in five people said low-carb diets are spurring their meat and fish intake.
And yet, the gains for red meat are occurring at a time when people are eating less of it: The average American consumed slightly less than 65 lbs. of beef in 2003, down from the peak period of 90 lbs. or more annually experienced in the 1970s.
Pork consumption remains near 50 lbs. per capita, similar to levels experienced in the early 1980s, while lamb has dropped to about 1.1 lbs. per capita.