The world’s consumers have been cutting back on meat eating since the early days of the pandemic. In 2022, the drop in demand started with beef, and even as inflation cools, all signs point to continued pressure this year, especially in some of the world’s most carnivorous nations.

It’s not uncommon to see meat sales slide during downturns for the economy. What’s striking is that demand is falling faster in many of the countries where beef has traditionally been the protein of choice. In Brazil, consumption was on its way to a record low in 2022. U.S. shoppers have cut back on purchases by more than 4% in the past year, NielsenIQ data show, while U.K. sales of beef roasts and steaks have tumbled.

Perhaps no one place better captures the trend than Argentina. The Argentine barbecue, or asado as the locals say, is so tightly woven into the national fabric that even through some of the worst recessions, consumption has proven resilient to belt-tightening. Recent soaring prices in the nation long famed for eating more beef than almost anywhere else are forcing consumers to trade down to chicken, which is now vying for the title of the country’s top protein.