The fifth edition of Power of Meat, a study released recently by the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute, has found that the recession is continuing to impact food purchasing and consumption behavior, including the meat department.

While the volume of meat consumed in 2009 was up significantly, dollars were lagging as shoppers opted for cheaper cuts and prices dropped during the year, the study said.

Forty percent of shoppers say they have changed the way they purchase meat and poultry compared to before the recession, down from 51% in 2009. This is also significantly less than the 50% who are spending less on groceries overall, signifying the strength of meat and poultry in the total food consumption.

Sixty-two percent of shoppers who saw a significant drop in household income have altered their meat shopping. More customers are also cooking at home versus eating out, leading to an increase in meat purchases at supermarkets and other retail outlets.

“Power of Meat,” conducted by the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute, Nov. 2009.  Supermarket News, Web. 8 Mar. 2010.