Lamb prices have reached record highs over the past 18 months. One reason is growing lamb demand. Today’s figure is Google searches for phrases including or similar to “How to Cook Lamb.” Internet traffic on this topic has steadily increased since 2004. But, in general, searches for instructions on how to cook lamb have risen steadily, with sharp growth occurring since the pandemic.
Why the growth post-pandemic? Lamb was already growing in popularity, as evidenced by the search history in the chart above. Generational changes in tastes and preferences, as well as diversifying demographics led to sustained, though small growth in lamb consumption through the mid-2010s. Restaurants like Zoe’s Kitchen that offer Mediterranean cuisine and other restaurants like Arby’s began to increase lamb offerings on menus. But the real jump in consumption came during the pandemic, when the price of other protein products skyrocketed and those products became harder to find due to supply chain issues. Though lamb remains a relatively expensive protein product, the increase in the price of beef, pork, and chicken meant that lamb became relatively more accessible. Combined with more time at home, many consumers seemed willing to try cooking new meals – including lamb.
Finally, today’s chart illustrates the significance of holidays to the lamb market. The left-hand red line represents search traffic for how to cook lamb around Christmas in 2019, and the right-hand red line represents search traffic for how to cook lamb around Easter in 2020. Search traffic spikes each year around Christmas and a set of spring holidays which include Easter, Passover, and Ramadan. The spring period is an incredibly important season for lamb demand, which is why we focus on it around this time each year. Fun fact, the top searched phrase for how to cook lamb over the last two years was, “How to cook lamb in an instant pot?”.