The unofficial kickoff to summer is right around the corner, and as families and friends gather to recognize Memorial Day, Wisconsin’s beef producers are working hard to keep up with consumer demand.
“Beef can be a staple for any meal enjoyed year-round, but summer months are special for Wisconsin residents who want to spend more time outdoors with family and friends,” Kaitlyn Riley, Wisconsin Beef Council director of communications and outreach said. “Thanks to our nearly 14,000 beef farmers across the state, we can confidently fire up the grill with a real protein source that is authentic and raised responsibly. As our landscape is filled with lush greenery, cattle upcycle inedible plants and turn them into that high-quality beef, making more protein available for the human food supply than would exist without them.”
Grilling over the summer holidays is on the rise with 8-13 percent more U.S. consumers claiming they will grill on either Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Labor Day, or July 4th compared to 2020, according to a survey conducted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. Consumers on average plan to grill about 9.2 times a month this summer. That is up from 2020 when consumers said they planned to grill about 8.3 times per month.
The year 2020 saw an increase in demand for retail beef. Market research from NCBA shows in the second and third quarter of 2020, the top cuts of beef in order of popularity were Ground Beef, Ribeye Steak, Chuck Roast, Strip Steak, Brisket, Cubed Steak, Top Sirloin Steak, Sirloin Steak, T-Bone Steak, and Chuck Steak. All but Chuck Steak saw an increase in pounds sold when compared to 2019 data. Ground Beef is a clear leader with 1.5 billion pounds sold in Q2 and Q3 of 2020. The next leading cut, Ribeye Steak, had 1.73 million pounds sold in the same quarters.
Beef supplies 10 essential nutrients at 10 percent or higher than their respective daily values per serving that support a healthy lifestyle, such as protein, zinc, iron, and B vitamins. There are several options for lean beef that can provide those nutrients in about 170 calories per serving. Some of the most popular options for lean beef choices include Top Sirloin Steak, Strip Steak, Tenderloin Steak, and 93 percent lean Ground Beef.
Consumers can find grilling tips as well as recipe ideas by visiting the Wisconsin Beef Council’s website at beeftips.com.