NATIONWIDE – Americans will consume more than 200 pounds of beef each this year, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

The USDA is predicting record-breaking beef sales in 2018, and they have a couple ideas why that might be.

One of the reasons is trade opening up with China for the first time in 14 years. China imported more than 300 tons of American beef by September of 2017. The other reason is people feasting on high-protein diets.

Rancher Bill Hyman said he thinks the reason for the spike is much simpler.

"The population of the United States and the world grows every year," said Hyman.  

The logic is more people make more consumers.

The rise in beef consumption is good news for Lockhart Smitt’s Market owner Nina Sells. Since 1948, Smitty's Market has been slicing and serving brisket.

"It's a satisfying feeling that you look around and people are enjoying the fruits of your hard labor," said Sells.

Whatever the reason for the uptick, Sells said Smitty's will be open and ready to satisfy America's craving.