Global meat consumption still on the rise, despite plant-based boom

Posted: 10 March 2020 | | No comments yet

According to a new report, Africa and the Middle East are primed for fast growth in meat consumption, while the US is trending toward modest gains.

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Meat-eaters are increasingly selecting plant-based protein options rather than meat for health, environmental, and flavour reasons. Nevertheless, meat consumption worldwide is expected to increase 1.4 percent per year through 2023, according to data published in a new report – Global Meat & Poultry Trends – by Packaged Facts, a market intelligence division of

Meat and poultry consumption in the US is expected to increase less than one percent per year through 2023, but greater gains are projected in other parts of the world. Most notably, nations in Africa and the Middle East are forecast to register the fastest increases in meat consumption, as rising living standards and income levels allow more people to incorporate meat into their regular diet.

“In many parts of the world, meat is among the least affordable food options. It is generally pricier than locally available grains, beans, vegetables, and fruit. However, as average incomes rise, more people to eat meat, first as an occasional treat and then finally as something they consume multiple times a week, if not daily,” said David Sprinkle, Research Director for Packaged Facts.

Globally, pork and poultry dominate meat consumption. Average prices for these meats are significantly lower than for beef (as pigs and chickens require much less farmland per animal), which contributes to their high levels of consumption even in low-income countries, according to the report.

In the US specifically, poultry remains and will reportedly remain by far the most consumed type of meat due to its low cost. Meanwhile, beef consumption is expected to stagnate, as US consumers are increasingly selecting other protein sources due to the adverse health effects associated with high levels of red meat consumption. Nevertheless, the US is a global leader in beef production, and Packaged Facts has anticipated that the segment will continue to account for a large share of total consumption.

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