Retailers are selling out of meat in major metropolitan areas. In certain areas, we are hearing reports that stores are pulling featuring activities, and finding it unnecessary to offer discounts to move large volumes of meat because of panic demand related to COVID-19.
The USDA weekly feature rate dropped off significantly for beef and pork in the last two weeks of February and the first two weeks of March. Retail feature activity for beef, nationally, was only at 65 –71.5% in the last four weeks.
Featuring activity had not been in the mid 60% range in a non-holiday week since last August. In the pork sector the last four weeks were similar. Feature rates had not been below 70% since August as well with the exception of Thanksgiving week. In 2019 pork feature activity averaged 86.1%, and beef averaged 81%. This aggressive featuring has been reflective of large supplies of meat in both complexes as well as in competing with poultry.dlr-03-17-20