The Most Popular Types of Meat in America and the World

Nick Mirev
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    Meat has a special place in American cuisine and culture. The US meat industry is among the leading sectors in the economy. Furthermore, in recent years there has been a variety of innovations in the industry. Meat subscription boxes with organic and grass-fed products are becoming increasingly popular and a lot of people research the benefits of cultured meat. If you’re interested in other novelties in the sector, check out our articles on meat trends or how to start a meat business. In the following paragraphs, we’ll share more about the popular types of meat in the US and other parts of the global meat market.

    Key takeaway: Poultry is the most common type of meat in the US and the world. Beef and pork are also very common options in many countries. Cooked meats and cold cuts are also used extensively in cuisines across the world.
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    Most Popular Types of Meat


    Since the 1990s, the consumption of chicken meat per capita in the US has surpassed the consumption of beef. That’s why poultry is the most popular type of meat in America. This category includes not only chicken meat but also turkey and duck. However, their consumption is much lower compared to that of chicken. Currently, the average American eats more than 100 pounds of chicken annually.

    Here are the main reasons why poultry is the most popular type of meat in the US.

    1. It’s price per pound is lower compared to beef or other types of meat;
    2. It’s rich in protein and low in fat;
    3. It’s versatile and can be used for various ingredients;
    4. It requires less processing and meat distribution of poultry is easier compared to other types of meat.


    Steak is considered to be a classical American food. Beef is especially popular in Southern states either as steak or in other forms like ribs, sausages, or ground beef. On average, people in the US consume around 60 pounds of beef per year. In addition to the large consumption of beef and veal meat in the country, the US exports a lot of meat to other countries. That’s why the meat industry in the country is very large and an important part of the economy. In recent years, the import of beef has increased as well. That’s mainly due to the popularity of Japanese beef like Wagyu or Kobe beef. Steak enthusiasts often pre-order meat subscriptions of such products as the demand for them is higher than the supply. Make sure you research how to sell meat online before you start selling such products on your website at retail or wholesale prices.


    Although pork is not as popular in the US compared to Europe or China, it’s still the third most popular type of meat in America. It’s often consumed in the form of bacon, sausages, ham, or various types of lunch meat products. Wholesale sales of bulk deli meat products have increased in recent decades as they are an excellent way to prepare quick meals and fit into the busy lifestyle of many people in urban areas.

    Fish and Other Seafood

    Some researchers don’t include fish and shellfish in the meat category. However, they are a great source of animal protein and contain various nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids. Shrimp is the most popular type of seafood in the US. Salmon and tuna are other very common seafood products. Businesses that offer seafood products aim to find suppliers that can offer products caught in different parts of the US like Alaskan salmon, Maine crab, Atlantic scallops, or Texas shrimp.


    Consumption of lamb meat has increased in the last decades as it’s a traditional meat in many cultures in the world. That’s why it’s common mostly in ethnic restaurants.

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    Popular Types of Deli Meat

    If you’re interested in the most popular types of meat in the US, you might also want to know more about the common varieties of sandwich or lunch meat products. They have been an important part of the lifestyle of many Americans as they are convenient and delicious.

    1. Turkey cold cuts;
    2. Ham;
    3. Bologna sausage;
    4. Salami;
    5. Roast beef;
    6. Chicken cold cuts;
    7. Salami, pastrami, prosciutto, mortadella, pepperoni, and other Italian deli meats.

    Keep in mind that it’s important how you store different meats. They all have distinct storage conditions and shelf life. That’s why business owners might find it difficult to offer products with a wide range of deli meats as they can be more demanding in terms of storage conditions.

    Common Types of Meat Cuts

    People who enjoy steaks know that there’s a wide variety of meat cuts available in this niche market. Wholesale meat distributors usually offer all of them as they are the result of the processing of the meat. Let’s examine the main types of beef cuts.

    1. Chuck – it comes from the cow’s shoulder;
    2. Rib – it’s the meat from the cow’s backbone and ribs;
    3. Loin – it’s located beneath the ribs;
    4. Round – located near the cow’s rear legs, it's among the cheapest types of beef cuts;
    5. Flank – it’s located just below the loin;
    6. Brisket – this fatty and tough cut is located in the cow’s breast area;
    7. Shank – this is the cheapest beef cut and it’s located in the cow’s forearm.
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    Frequently Asked Questions about Different Types of Meat

    Whether you’re interested in increasing the B2B sales of your wholesale meat business or in creating an eCommerce catalog of your products, BlueCart can be the reliable partner to grow your wholesale business. We also offer valuable tips and information on a variety of topics. Below are the answers to some common questions about the popular types of meat.

    What Are the Popular Meat Cooking Methods?

    There are two main categories of cooking – moist-heat and dry-heat cooking. The former utilizes water or another liquid (usually a type of fat) to transfer heat. Stewing and deep-frying are examples of popular meat cooking methods. Dry-heat cooking involves the circulation of hot air or direct contact to transfer heat. Broiling and grilling are the most popular dry-heat ways to cook meat. They are especially popular for red meats such as beef or pork. Grilling gives the cook more control over the process and allows additional flavoring techniques such as smoking to be used. 

    What Is the Role of Meat in Restaurants?

    Meat plays an important role in the restaurant industry. A wide range of dishes are made with different types of meat. If we consider seafood also as part of the meat category, then the majority of meals have meat ingredients. That’s because meat is an important source of proteins. When combined with vegetables or other sides and ingredients, the result is a satiating meal that is rich in protein and vitamins. Although products like vegan meat, cultured meat, or other protein alternatives have gained popularity, beef and poultry are still the most popular types of meat in the US.

    What Are the Most Popular Types of Meat Dishes in the US?

    Brisket is one of the most popular meat dishes in the US. Beef, poultry, and other types of meat have an integral role in American cuisine. That’s why there are many dishes that use meat as an ingredient. Let’s see a few examples of US dishes where meat is the main product.

    • Chili con carne. This stew combines chili peppers, meat, tomatoes, and kidney beans.
    • Fried chicken. From chicken nuggets to Buffalo wings, there are multiple varieties of fried chicken meals.
    • Ribs. Beef and pork ribs are a great meal for any time of the day.
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