business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  Acosta is out with a new research report, into plant-based eating, concluding that "forty percent of consumers surveyed in March 2022 purchased plant-based meat and/or dairy products within the last six months, with over half of those surveyed (60%) purchasing plant-based products several times a month … Seventy-seven percent of consumers surveyed buy plant-based foods at traditional grocery stores … (and)  Twenty percent of consumers surveyed buy plant-based foods online."

In addition, the report says, "Sixty-four percent of plant-based buyers purchase within this category at least several times a month … Fifty-seven percent of plant-based buyers say they intend to consume plant-based alternatives throughout their lives … (and) Nearly 20% of plant-based buyers say they follow a fully plant-based lifestyle."

The survey also says that "about 33% of all U.S. shoppers claim to perceive plant-based foods as a fad, despite growing interest and demand."

•  The Washington Post reports that "lawmakers on Capitol Hill aggressively questioned the chief executives of the country’s four major beef producers, accusing them of engaging in anti-competitive practices that have financially harmed cattle ranchers and driven up the price of meat.

"The four multinational corporations — National Beef, JBS, Cargill and Tyson — control 85 percent of the beef industry. Allegations that these meatpackers have abused their position in a highly concentrated market to fix prices has led to $400 million in fines and settlements in recent years. Critics of the companies’ conduct also say industry consolidation has squeezed both ends of the supply chain, with ranchers being paid unsustainable prices for their cattle and consumers overpaying at the grocery store.

"Defenders of the meatpacking firms say they are being scapegoated for inflation."