Ever wonder what kind of refrigerated and frozen foods are being trucked and held for transport throughout the United States?
Turns out, cold storage facilities ended 2017 with record levels of cheese, vegetables and poultry in stock. A end-of-year record 1.28 billion pounds of natural cheese, 2.63 billion pounds of frozen vegetables and 1.2 billion pounds of frozen poultry were in storage on Dec. 31, 2017, according to a report released last week by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The recent increase in poultry was helped by record levels of turkey breasts on hand, according to the “cold storage” report from the National Agriculture Statistics Service, while cheeses stocks increased in specialty varieties (not Swiss and American) and gains in frozen vegetables occurred in non-traditional categories.
In addition to the record 74.3 million pounds of turkey breasts, other specific foods that ended the year at record levels included red raspberries (75.5 milllion pounds) and ham (81.1 million pounds). It was an end-of-year record for boneless ham inventory (65.8 million pounds), while bone-in hams fell to 15.3 million pounds, the lowest level for a December report in more than 20 years.
Cold storage facilities ended the year with 10.07 billion pounds of commodities in inventory, which was a fraction of a percent higher than levels at the close of 2016 and down 2 percent from the end of November. Of total inventory, 8.48 billion pounds or 84 percent was frozen stock and 1.59 billion pounds or 16 percent was stored in coolers.