Consumers say they are buying healthier meat options, according to a Packaged Facts report.
An analyst with The NPD Group discusses the potential fallout of a WHO report that classifies red meat as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It has been more than a week since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued its report linking the consumption of processed meats to an increased risk for developing certain cancers.

The IARC panel of health experts classified processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence,” while consumption of red meat was classified as “probably carcinogenic” to humans.

Meat and poultry companies, of course, are wondering what impact the WHO’s report – and tidal wave of media reports that followed – will have on their businesses. Will consumers reduce their consumption of processed meat and red meat? 

Darren Seifer, The NPD Group
Darren Seifer, The NPD Groups

Darren Seifer, the food and beverage industry analyst for The NPD Group, a market information group based in New York that has tracked eating attitudes and behaviors for more than 30 years, doesn’t believe the study will change Americans’ eating habits because its information does not affect their immediate lives. But Seifer says the study’s results could impact US meat exports if citizens in other companies decide to reduce their consumption of processed meat and red meat.

Lawrence Aylward, editor of MEAT+POULTRY, caught up with Seifer to discuss the WHO’s report and its potential impact. In the interview, Seifer also suggests how the meat and poultry industry can do a better job of marketing its healthy attributes.