If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.

And when it came to COVID-19’s impact on pork sales, a surprisingly positive pandemic boost left pork in a prime spot.

IRI data revealed that fresh pork sales shot up 14.9% in volume and 22.6% in dollar sales compared to year-ago levels, pre-pandemic.

The 15.1% volume spike in fresh pork carried the category. But growth was consistent across all cuts, with loins up 10.9%, ribs up 14.2%, and shoulders up 29.2%.

The even better news? This year could continue to serve up positive pork results.

The ongoing pandemic has magnified consumers’ plans for 2021 eating habits since other resolutions such as travel and socializing are more difficult to achieve in the current economic and socially-distanced environment we’re in.

The challenges and market disruptions of COVID-19 won’t disappear overnight. But focusing on the positive results of 2020 and leveraging today’s consumer objectives can translate into big wins for retailers and pork.