Rising prices and a debate about what constitutes “real” beef have put the entree/protein category in the spotlight recently.
On the product classification front, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to “exclude from the definition of ‘beef’ and ‘meat’ products not derived directly from animals that are raised and slaughtered.” In essence, the organization is claiming there’s fake beef making the rounds.
The effort stems from non-North American meatpackers that the Washington, D.C.-based Cattlemen’s Association said “have invested heavily in creating alternative products that may resemble in appearance and taste beef products, including synthetic and beef grown in laboratories and thus are not derived from animals born, raised and harvested in the traditional manner,” according to a group statement.
Regarding prices, Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods reported that rising freight and labor costs could spell higher meat prices for U.S. consumers, according to a February MarketWatch report.
The increase stems from a nationwide shortage of trucks and drivers—adding $200 million to Tyson’s costs this year, said CEO Tom Hayes. “Ultimately, consumers are going to pay for it at some point,” he said.
Tyson’s first-quarter revenue rose 11%, fueled by a 21% increase in prepared-food sales. Its purchase of Cincinnati-based sandwich maker AdvancePierre Foods in 2017 provided a $325 million boost to results.
Here’s a look at beef, chicken and pork offerings that have rolled out recently.