Global meat consumption made gains in 2014

by Erica Shaffer
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LONDON – The global meat market saw a 3 percent increase in volume sales growth in 2014, according to Euromonitor International, a leading provider of global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. Growing demand in emerging markets pushed growth to 225 million tonnes for the year.

Euromonitor also found that poultry is the most-popular meat protein in the world. Volumes consumed in 2014 advanced 4 percent to total 85 billion tonnes consumed. Also, India emerged as the top growth market for meat. Euromonitor noted that one-third of India's population is vegetarian.

Finally, demand for beef and veal in China climbed 5 percent compared to demand for pork, which increased 3 percent. Euromonitor attributed higher demand for beef and veal to growing per capita disposable income among Chinese citizens.

“Increased prosperity and rising populations are key drivers for meat consumption in emerging markets,” said Anastasia Alieva, head of Fresh Food Research. “For example, since 2009, India’s annual disposable income has improved by 95 percent and meat consumption has increased by nearly 50 percent during the same time period.”

But while demand for meat grew in emerging markets, developed markets registered declines in demand during 2014, according to Euromonitor's fresh-food data. Greece experienced the most severe decline in meat consumption followed by Germany and the Netherlands. The United States registered a 1 percent decline in demand for meat.

Euromonitor attributed the negative trend to growing concerns about health, ethical, sustainability and religious issues. A number of Western consumers are embracing vegetarianism and veganism or adopting a pescetarian (a diet that includes fish but no other meat), flexitarian or vegetable-oriented diets, according to Euromonitor.

“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, “Alieva noted. 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.”
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