Consumers reconsider high meat prices in OctoberGrocery shoppers are starting to second-guess the prices they see in the meat aisle as a monthly survey shows consumers are not as willing to pay high prices for most meat options.

The Food Demand Survey conducted by Oklahoma State University shows the average consumer’s willingness to pay for steak, chicken breast, hamburger and deli ham declined this month, falling between 3% and 8% lower.

Consumer price preferences for steak fell 5.73 %, or 41 cents, to $6.74 per pound. Hamburger saw similar declines, down 5.77%, or 24 cents, to $3.92 per pound. Chicken breast was also lower, down 3.73% to $4.91 per pound.

The only meat options to increase were pork chops and chicken wings up 3.26% and 0.47% respectively.

Consumers reconsider high meat prices in October

Possibly affected by economic concerns brought on by the government shutdown, consumers were spending more to eat at home and less on meals away from home. Weekly grocery bills increased by $3.19 to $96.52, the budget to eat meals outside of the home fell 79 cents to $44.84. Both figures are anticipated to fall lower in the next two weeks.

The survey also measures consumer views of food trends and hot topics in the agricultural industry. Consumer awareness of GMO and E. coli marginally increased in October, but awareness of antibiotics and Zilmax declined. In a specific question regarding the growth hormone, the number of survey respondents who “have never heard of Zilmax” fell 1.5% to 84.9%.

The Food Demand Survey is a monthly report completed by  Jayson Lusk and Susan Murray at the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics.