The recession isn't the only thing putting a crimp in beef sales. As the Wall Street Journal's Lauren Etter writes in today's edition:
Making the situation even tougher, a new study this week by the National Cancer Institute concluded that eating too much red meat can shorten life spans.
So far, though, beef sales in the U.S. are suffering largely because consumers aren't eating as much at restaurants. Beef sales to food-service establishments were down nearly 5% last year, according to figures from food-consulting firm Technomic Inc. Sales to supermarkets and other retail outlets rose 2% as consumers started cooking more at home.
. . . Historically, half of all beef sales in the U.S. go to the food-service industry . . . But dining at casual chains is down, thanks in part to the recession, according to Knapp-Track, which follows sales at about 10,000 dining outlets.