Red meat producers and processors often dismiss this country's heavy consumption of poultry as a misleading indicator of demand. They claim chicken is bought mostly because it is cheap and pointing to recent total purchase volume data as evidence growth is petering out. Latest MLC forecasts appear to support this interpretation, poultry supplies available for consumption this year predicted to increase only by a negligible 1% despite the FMD demand boost and a slight decline expected in 2002. However, the latest MLC market survey notes a recent US report showing the average American household spent $173 [one hundred and seventy three dollars] on beef last year against just $73 [seventy three dollars] on poultry. In contrast, UK households spent far more on poultry than on any other meat. Poultry expenditure greater than the combined outlays on beef and lamb or on pork and bacon, suggests a preference reflecting demand influences other than just mere cheapness. {{M/E MEAT }}