The National Beef Checkoff recently released the findings of an online study conducted in January 2012 designed to measure consumers’ purchasing habits at foodservice establishments based on current economic pressures facing Americans.

Consumers had to pay 10% more for beef in 2011 reported USDA and predictions are that 2012 may follow with an increase of 5%. The concern of what impact these rising costs may have on consumers’ purchasing habits as well as impact this may have at the foodservice level in regard to pricing and beef options offered to customers, sparked the Beef Checkoff to conduct this follow-up study. Previous studies conducted in 2008 and 2011 indicated economic pressures were leading consumers to “trade down” (buying less expensive cuts of beef and/or increasing ground beef purchases) and “trade out” (shifting from beef to less expensive protein, especially chicken). The 2012 study consisted of responses from 1,013 adult beef eaters.