GLOBAL fresh meat consumption grew three percent in volume terms in 2014 to reach 225 million tonnes, according to analysts Euromonitor International.
Growing demand in emerging markets was the big driver.
“Increased prosperity and rising populations are key factors for meat consumption in emerging markets,” said Euromonitor’s head of fresh food research, Anastasia Alieva.
“For example, since 2009, India’s annual disposable income has improved by 95pc and the country’s meat consumption has increased by nearly 50pc over the same period,” she said.
India, where one third of the population is vegetarian, emerged as the top growing meat market in the world in 2014.
In China, demand of beef and veal rose 5pc last year, larger in percentage growth terms than demand of more traditional pork (+3pc year-on-year) thanks to growing per capita disposable income.
Fastest developing regions for meat consumption in percentage terms were the Middle East and Africa, followed by Eastern Europe and the Asia Pacific region. This correlates with growth in incomes.
In contrast, meat demand declined in many developed markets, according to Euromonitor’s research, with Greece experiencing the most severe decline of meat consumption in 2014, followed by Germany and the Netherlands.
The US and Western Europe recorded a 1pc decline in consumption last year. With health, ethical and sustainability issues associated with high consumption giving meat a ‘bad name’ in some circles, more western consumers are embracing vegetarianism and veganism, adopting a pescetarian (fish only), flexitarian or vegetable-oriented diet, or switching to leaner meats or white meats, according to the report.
Another factor impacting consumption of fresh meat in developed countries was growing demand and interest in products that bring convenience and time-saving in the kitchen. The report noted growth in popularity of ready-meals based on meat, especially in western Europe, North America and Australasia.
Fresh meat consumption in the US declined 5.5kg over five years to 2014. At the same time, frozen and processed meats, particularly poultry (+10pc in volume) and red meat (+6pc) is on the rise over the same period. Chilled ‘ready-to eat’ meals were up 8pc over the same period.
Euromonitor’s research also found that poultry remained is the most popular meat protein in the world, increasing by 4pc in volume terms to reach 85 million tonnes consumed in 2014, or 38pc of all meat protein consumed. Beef and veal fill second place in growth terms.
“In developed markets, poultry wins shares of consumer stomachs at the expense of red meat, which is gaining a bad reputation due to health concerns. Surprisingly, lamb and goat are also on the rise in these markets due to increasing interest in exotic and rare meats, as well as the growing popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine,” Ms Alieva said.
- Click on the Youtube link below to access Euromonitor’s three-minute video, which discusses regional trends in emerging markets, health concerns in developed economies, convenience products and growth in frozen packaged products like ready-meals and processed poultry.