High end steak houses are about to get higher. In a short year, boxed beef prices have risen to all time highs. The cost per pound on strip sirloin has more than doubled compared to this time last year.
Notably, Walmart’s advertising campaign has had a heavy focus on choice usda ‘grilling’ beef. I have seen several versions of ‘sirloin focused’ commercials, and I rarely watch television.
With a more than 300 Billion dollar share of the North American food retail business, could there be a connection between the soaring price of beef and Walmart trying to capture an even larger “piece of the pie”.
Walmarts supply chain and buying power are
enormous, and when they need to fill an unending demand, their effects on the market can be a hard hit for smaller independent restaurants and large chain operations.
The cattle industries explanation is that the size of this years herd is smaller than the previous year, but does a 2.1 % decline in the number of overall cattle justify a more than 100% increase on certain cuts of meat? Supply and demand forces seem to be at play here.
The beef industry may be pricing itself out of future dining trends. By making their product too costly to incorporate into everyday menus, chefs, managers and owners will increasingly turn to pork, chicken and other cost effective ‘center of the plate’ items.