This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Ouch! Pricier Beef This Holiday Weekend as Americans Fire Up the Grill

Stocks in this article: HRL CAG

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Memorial Day weekend -- what has become the official start of summer and the outdoor grilling season-- has become the single largest beef-eating period of the year.

But if you're salivating at the prospect of sinking your teeth into a big, juicy burger, get ready to swallow hard. That hamburger is going to cost you. The rising price of beef may have you putting smaller sliders on the grill instead.

Where's the Beef?

Ground beef prices are near record highs because of the continuing decline in feeder cattle supplies.

According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, the current levels of cow slaughter reflect the ongoing drought in the Plains, the Southwest and western United States.  In addition, according to the government, because of drought condition ranchers aren't raising as many cattle, which will put a whammy on cow inventories.  

That's why in the past five years, the retail price for fresh beef has surged from $3.89 per pound, on average, in 2009 to $5.49 per pound as for April, according to USDA latest data, as of May 15.

Are Carnivores Turning To Chicken?

Mike Miller, senior vice president of global marketing and research for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, believes beef will remain the top choice for the holiday's cookouts this weekend and into the summer.

He even put out a statement to that effect, adding, "Demand for beef is strong and continues to grow, even in a time of higher prices.  In fact, more than 80% of Americans say that over the next six months they anticipate eating the same amount -- if not more -- beef.  

"Like all proteins, the price of beef has gone up, but if you compare them to the same time a year ago, the average price of beef has increased $0.25 per pound, which amounts to just about six cents more per serving." 

Will Supply Meet Demand?

Although consumers will pay more for meat this summer, the good news is there's still plenty to go around.

John Anderson, deputy chief economist for the American Farm Bureau, states, "Consumers will have no problem finding their favorite meats for summer barbeques and cook-outs."

If so, that's also good news for some U.S. meat processors, including Cargill, Hormel Foods (HRL), and ConAgra (CAG).

So after standing over a hot grill this Memorial Day weekend, remember to savor every last bite of that expensive burger a little bit more.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs