Addressing Concentration in the Meat-Processing Industry to Lower Food Prices for American Families

Addressing Concentration in the Meat-Processing Industry to Lower Food Prices for American Families

By Brian Deese, Sameera Fazili, and Bharat Ramamurti

The President understands that families have been facing higher prices at the grocery store recently. Half of those recent increases are from meat prices—specifically, beef, pork, and poultry. While factors like increased consumer demand have played a role, the price increases are also driven by a lack of competition at a key bottleneck point in the meat supply chain: meat-processing. Just four large conglomerates control the majority of the market for each of these three products, and the data show that these companies have been raising prices while generating record profits during the pandemic. That’s why the Biden-Harris Administration is taking bold action to enforce the antitrust laws, boost competition in meat-processing, and push back on pandemic profiteering that is hurting consumers, farmers, and ranchers across the country.

Meat constitutes half of food at home price increases. Large price increases for beef, pork, and poultry are driving the recent price increases consumers are seeing at the grocery store (a measure commonly known as “food at home”). Together, these three items account for a full half of the price increase for food at home since December 2020. Since that time, prices for beef have risen by 14.0%, pork by 12.1%, and poultry by 6.6%. Keep Reading