Study Shows Positive Shift in Retail Lamb Demand
May 4, 2018

A key measurement of success for the lamb industry is demand, which goes beyond how much lamb is purchased to take into account the price that consumers are willing to pay. Increased demand means that consumers are either buying more lamb at basically the same price, or they are purchasing the same amount at higher prices. Increased demand benefits every sector of the lamb industry.

And there’s some good news to share.

The Retail Demand Index for Lamb, a report commissioned by the American Lamb Board, shows a positive shift in retail demand for lamb for the past three years. In 2015, demand was up 7 percent from the previous year, and up 4.3 percent compared to 1990. Demand increased again in 2016, up 2.5 percent from 2015. During 2017, demand was still on the positive side, although not as strong as 2015 and 2016.

Report authors Deborah Marsh of Knob Economics and Julie Shiflett of Juniper Economic Consulting write that “consumers are purchasing more lamb and they are purchasing lamb at higher prices. Again, this is great news for the lamb industry because it indicates that the retail demand for lamb [in the United States] has increased.”

The reports state the key factors that support the increased retail demand for lamb are higher incomes, higher prices of substitute meats and seafood, a growing consumer base, and promotion activities.

The Retail Demand Index for Lamb report allows the industry to track yearly trends for all lamb in the United States, both domestic and imported. ALB also commissioned a study in 2017 analyzing domestic versus imported lamb sold in the United States, including cut and price specifics. These studies help the industry understand the full picture of lamb demand in the country.

The job of ALB is to go to after increased market share and build a preference for American lamb. These studies give guidance on progress and help formulate program priorities. The 2018 report, titled Retail Demand Index for Lamb: 2017 Update, and the in-depth original report, Lamb Demand Analysis from March 2015, and the Retail Analysis of Domestic vs. Imported Lamb from 2017 are all available upon request by emailing

Source: ALB