Chicken sold at retail grocery stores last year increased 1.0 percent in dollar sales while declining 1.9 percent in pounds sold, according to FreshLook Data funded by The Beef Checkoff. For the 52 weeks ending December 25, 2011, the average price for all chicken covered in the data was $2.08, 2.9 percent above the comparable price for 2010.

By comparison, beef dollar sales were up 2.2 percent despite an 8.7-percent decrease in pounds sold.  Beef’s price, $4.07 per pound, inflated by 12.0 percent over the previous year.  The sale of pork was somewhat similar to beef with pork seeing a 2.2 percent rise in dollar sales, while the quantity fell 6.5 percent.  The price of pork, $2.69 per pound, rose 9.2 percent.  Turkey’s dollar sales gained the most of any of the meats, except “other,” with a 3.4-percent increase aided by a 10.5-percent increase in its average price to $1.82 per pound.  Pounds sold for turkey were off 6.4 percent.  Lamb’s average price, $6.94 per pound, surged 18.2 percent, which helps explain why lamb’s pounds were down 17.5 percent.  The higher price for lamb, however, did not prevent lamb’s total dollar sales from declining 2.5 percent.  Veal’s price, $6.80 per pound, was up 4.1 percent while pounds were down 5.6 percent and total dollar sales slid 1.7 percent.

In 2011, overall, supermarket meat departments rang-up 2.0 percent more in dollar sales by boosting the average meat price, $2.95 per pound, by 8.5 percent while pounds sold decreased 6.0 percent.  The gain in total dollar sales for meat was also helped by having dollar sales decline only for lamb and veal, both relatively small volume movers in the meat department.