How High Meat Prices are Pushing Consumers Away

Cubes of meat.

Meat has remained a major source of protein for centuries. (Image: via Pixano)

Meat, including beef, pork, and chicken, is a staple food in countries with more substantial buying power. However, in less fortunate countries, high meat prices are slowly pushing consumers away.

While the vegan movement has shown that people can live without meat, this still only represents a small segment of society. Unfortunately, this means that most of humanity relies on meat. 

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

Why is meat so popular?

Meat has remained a significant source of protein for centuries. Although there are more sophisticated ways to get protein today, for a long time, it was the number one way people added protein to their diets.

There are also social aspects of eating meat where having meat used to be a luxury in the past. This is because of the high price of raising and butchering animals for meat. Even today, there are still some societies that consider meat to be a luxury instead of an absolute necessity.

What higher meat prices mean for buyers

Although people are accustomed to eating meat, many have moved away from more significant meat consumption due to rising prices.

From October 2021 to October 2022, meat prices increased by 16.9 percent. While this might not seem like a lot to some, it can be difficult for meat eaters who may barely be able to afford the increased prices.

The only way to combat this is for the minimum wage to increase so low-income earners can still afford the rising food prices.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that wages and salaries increased by 5.1 percent from September 2021 to the same period in 2022. This means that if a person spent US$500 on meat, it would cost them an average of US$584.50 today to purchase the same quantity of meat.

This is just an average example. The actual situation is much worse in some instances.

Meat today remains popular, although high meat prices are pushing people away
Meat today remains popular as dietary customs and traditions revolve heavily around meat consumption. (Image: Billy Shyu via Nspirement)

What caused the extreme situation

Although the situation has slowly improved since the height of COVID-19, the importation and exportation of meat have been heavily affected.

Due to logistical reasons, meat prices have risen, causing them to be almost unaffordable in some areas.

Since some places rely heavily on the importation of meat, the lack of supply drove the price up.

This resulted in meat becoming almost unaffordable for regular consumers. Instead of meat, some people have been forced to look for more affordable alternatives or vegetables. In many countries, vegetables are much more affordable because they are grown locally.

Stir-fry is one of many ways to prepare tofu.
While uncomfortable initially, some people have found that switching to plant-based diets has positively affected their health. (Image: Bhofack2 via Dreamstime)

Meat substitutes

In 2021, it was said that global sales of meat substitutes increased by 70 percent throughout the past decade. A meat alternative or substitute is a food product made from vegetarian or vegan ingredients and eaten as a replacement for meat.

Some people have found the unexpected switch to substitutes worthwhile. While uncomfortable initially, some people have found that switching to plant-based diets has positively affected their health.

Another meat substitute available is processed foods or canned goods, which are not always healthy. However, since some households don’t have a choice, they are left with no other option than to eat processed food or canned goods.

The most critical effect of the increasing price of meat is that people will eat less. In some instances where a culture’s diet is based mainly on meat, the lack of meat would result in less protein consumption.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

The Greek philosopher Plato.

Plato’s Influence on Architecture: How Do Architects Think?

Architecture is a discipline where art meets mathematics (engineering). Architects essentially blend these two sides, ...

A dolphin jumping in the ocean.

Dolphins and Sea Lions: The U.S. Navy’s Unexpected Defenders

The performances of dolphins and sea lions at marine parks often leave spectators amazed and ...

An angry woman.

Why You Shouldn’t Get Angry: The 4 Major Benefits

Have you ever heard the saying: “Smart people control their anger, while foolish ones let ...

A bronze statue of Plato.

The Life and Works of the Philosopher Plato, 427-347 B.C.

Plato was a Greek philosopher from Athens, the most famous student of Socrates, and the ...

An inbox full of unanswered emails.

Why Do I Get So Much Spam and Unwanted Emails in My Inbox?

Spam might not have brought an end to the internet or email, as some dire ...

From 'The Boy and the heron.'

The Boy and the Heron: Hayao Miyazaki’s Latest Studio Ghibli Masterpiece

The Boy and the Heron might seem unfamiliar, but in just a matter of time, ...

A woman embracing a horse's head.

Equine Empathy: The Remarkable Connection of Horses to Human Emotions

You’ve likely heard that dogs are man’s best friend, but horses may be the most ...

A birdseye view of some Hong Kong school students during an excursion.

Hong Kong Students to Have More Compulsory ‘Red’ Study Trips to Mainland China

In April 2023, Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary Eric Chan bid farewell to about 200 Hong ...

This is an image of the comet known as C/2023 P1 (Nishimura).

Are We About to See the Rare Green Comet Nishimura Light Up the Sky?

Of all the objects in the Solar System, perhaps the most spectacular are the great ...

Send this to a friend