Consumer shopping and dining-out practices continue to be shaped by the Coronovirus pandemic which first appeared in early 2020. According to a study by FMI, three quarters of U.S. consumers have changed their meat purchasing behavior during the pandemic with online meat orders rising over 95% during 2020. Some of this change is likely driven by stores running low on stock caused by a lack of supply as plant shutdowns and slowdowns have occurred due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
Below is a list of companies that specialize in direct-to-consumer meat sales. The lions share of retail meat purchases continues to take place in traditional channels. The FMI study estimated that 79% of sales occur in supermarkets and supercenters.
So although traditional channels are still dominant, with annual sales of over $50 billion in the U.S. alone, small farms and other alternative suppliers who deliver meat through direct channels seem poised to see continued growth.
Consumers will tend to pay more per pound by shopping at one of the direct-to-consumer purveyors but the meats are usually of higher quality and often perceived as more environmentally friendly and sustainable when compared to large meat processing operations.
List of Direct-to-Consumer Meat Companies
Allen Brothers: The esteemed purveyor, a major source of meat for steakhouses around the country, also sells products to consumers, including prime, Wagyu, grass-fed and dry-aged beef. The company ships nationwide.
Benton’s: Allan Benton, known as the Bacon God to chefs around America, sells not just world-class bacon, but also whole smoked and unsmoked country hams. The company ships nationwide.
Butcher Box: The company that specializes in 100 percent grassfed beef is not accepting new subscribers, though you can add your name to a wait list. But here’s the good news: Butcher Box has started to compile a long list of sustainable farmers who sell to consumers in their immediate area.
Bytable Marketplace: This Colorado-based company partners with farmers and ranchers who practice “regenerative agriculture” to increase biodiversity and carbon sequestration, among other environmental benefits. The business ships nationwide.
Crowd Cow: The company prides itself on transparency, identifying the source of your beef, including the famed farmers of Kagawa prefecture in Japan who supply Crowd Cow’s rich olive Wagyu cuts. The business ships within the continental United States.
D’Artagnan: The 35-year-old company works with small farms and cooperatives to source its many products, including grass-fed beef, heritage pork and organic chicken. D’Artagnan ships nationwide.
Edwards Virginia Smokehouse: After surviving a devastating fire in 2016, the company has come back stronger than ever, selling a variety of smoked hams, bacon, sausages and specialty items. Edwards ships nationwide.
Farm Foods: The California company sells grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken and heritage pork cuts. Farm Foods ships nationwide.
Gunthorp Farms: The Indiana-based operation raises its animals on pasture and processes them at an on-site facility. The farm specializes in chicken, pork, duck and turkey products.
Homestead Wisconsin: Beef and lamb raised on our Wisconsin farm for Madison-area families.
Liberty Delight Farms: The Maryland operation sells meats from animals raised on pasture without any antibiotics or hormones. They service only the Maryland, Washington and Virginia areas.
Lobel’s: The sixth-generation butcher shop in New York has been selling meats online for two decades now. You can order prime beef, American Wagyu, all-natural lamb, Berkshire pork and more. Lobel’s ships nationwide.
MeatCrafters: The Maryland-based company specializes in cured meats but also sells chorizo, lamb sausages, Italian sausages and half-smokes, the D.C. favorite. MeatCrafters ships within the continental United States.
Meat N’ Bone: The Florida-based company sells a wide variety of pork, poultry, beef, lamb and game meats, including wagyu-Angus beef from Australia and chicken from the respected Bell & Evans. The business ships nationwide.
MOINK – A MOINK is a ‘a meatball wrapped in bacon and cooked in a smoker’ but this small family farm sellss a wide variety of ethically sourced and humanely raised meats.
Mr. Steak: Mick Scully, a Chicago native and grilling enthusiast, is devoted to selling meats from ranchers who supply the country’s best steakhouses. Mr. Steak ships within the continental United States.
Nourished by Nature: Nourished by Nature is the online storefront for Brown’s Ranch in North Dakota, where the animals graze on pasture and are part of a holistic approach to regenerate soil. The storefront sells beef, lamb, pork and chicken. Nourished by Nature ships within the continental United States.
North Mountain Pastures: The small Pennsylvania farm raises animals on pasture or in managed woodlots with non-GMO grain. The farm sells CSA meat shares, sausages, bacon and more.
Porter Road: The Nashville-based business works with small farmers to source quality, humanely raised meats, which the crew hand-cuts into steaks, chops, briskets and more. Porter Road ships within the continental United States.
Red Apron Butcher: This D.C.-based butcher shop is dedicated to local farms that raise their animals humanely and without antibiotics or hormones. The shop has limited delivery around the D.C. area, as well as a new CSA-style butcher’s box available for pickup at eight locations.
Savage Steaks: Once a week, the company promises to deliver USDA prime, dry-aged steaks to your door, but only if you live without a 50-mile radius of its Zip code in Silver Spring, Md.
Seven Sons Farms: The farm is located in Indiana, and, yes, there are seven sons involved. The online shop sells grass-fed beef and bison, pasture-raised pork and much more. Seven Sons ships within the continental United States.
Snake River Farms: Snake River is part of a family-run business that promotes sustainable agriculture and animal welfare. It sells USDA prime steaks and cuts of American Wagyu beef, among other products. The company ships nationwide.
White Oak Pastures: This family farm sells perhaps the widest variety of meats anywhere. You can order beef, goat, lamb, pork, rabbit, goose, duck, chicken and more, all grass-fed or pasture-raised. White Oak ships within the continental United States.