The Food Institute Blog

The Food Institute Blog

Pork now second in meat consumption
Posted on February 04, 2015 by James Hickey

The comeback of pork continued with it now being the second most produced meat in the U.S. Pork recently surpassed meat to land in second behind chicken. According to the USDA, pork production will climb this year to a record 23.91 billion-lbs., as per-capita consumption reaches the highest in five years. Beef output will drop 1.7% to 23.90 billion-lbs. Chicken will lead the category as it reaches its all-time high of 39.21 billion-lbs.

Pork output, hurt in recent years by a deadly virus that have wiped recently born livestock, in projected to increase 4.6% as breeding-sow herd had the largest increase for a three-month period in 17 years. The total hog population increased 2% to 66.05 million in the last year.

Hogs are also getting bigger as two years of large corn and soybean crops have made feed cheaper for farmers. The average pig for slaughter weighed 216 pounds last year with a record-high 222 pounds in May 2014.

For beef, cattle ranchers are still feeling the effect of a 2012 drought that has beef production headed for its lowest levels since 1993.


About the Author

James Hickey
Business Writer
The Food Institute

James covers markets for the Food Institute, including the canned vegetable, frozen vegetable, tomato products, processed fish, dried fruit, nuts and juice and concentrate sectors. A reporter and editor for 21 years, James has worked as a writer and editor for North Jersey Media Group, an associate editor at Rodman Publishing and a production editor for the Daily Racing Form. James can be reached by email at or by phone at 201.791.5570 ext. 227.


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