It was 1986: A gallon of gas cost 89¢; a pound of ground beef cost about $1.29 at retail; a movie ticket was $3.71; the average monthly rent was $385; the average price of a home was $89,430; and the national beef checkoff program went into effect at $1/head.
Fast forward to 2011: Today, a gallon of gas will set you back an average of $3.26; the average price for a pound of ground beef is $3.87; a movie ticket costs about $8.50; the average monthly rent is $812; the average price of a home is $303,713; and the $1/head national beef checkoff is wrapping up its first 25 years of serving as a catalyst to spur strong beef sales worldwide.
Today, beef is the number one selling protein in restaurants, in particular, and in the U.S., in general, with consumer spending on beef totaling $73.4 million in 2010. And more than 85% of consumers know the industry’s “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” slogan, currently serving as the base of the Beef Checkoff Program.
For certain, walking through the 25-year history of the beef industry will take you down some rocky roads, as well as highlight some clear paths to growth, all en route to a beef industry that you’ll be proud to pass on to the next generation.