USDA data predicts that Americans will eat 54.3 pounds of red meat this year, a nearly half-pound increase over 2015. That’s the first increase in red meat consumption in the U.S. since 2006.
Expanded beef production is also contributing to the rise in demand. Cattle herds are at a five-year high after being the lowest in decades in early 2014 following years of drought. Bigger herds are driving beef prices back down— a 7% decrease year over year as of last month.