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Consumers still demanding beef

Consumer demand during the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2004 rose 10.4% on the Beef Demand Index — an index combining per capita consumption and consumer spending on beef — compared to the same time last year.

Gregg Doud, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA’s) chief economist, credited a robust economy for the increase, along with increased consumer spending and protein’s changing role in the national diet. And, Nelson Curry, chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) notes, "Consumers remain confident in the safety of U.S. beef, despite the discovery of this country’s first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) at the end of last year and the closure of key export markets."

In fact, a recent checkoff-funded survey conducted in April shows 89% of U.S. consumers remain confident in the national beef supply.

Consumers have more to choose from, as well. More than 2,100 new beef products have debuted in the marketplace in the last six years. And new government findings show 19 beef cuts qualifying as lean under government guidelines.

Curry says, "Looking ahead, this is good news for cattlemen and the beef industry in this critical time in our industry’s history."

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