The meat sector set to have a strong presence at SIAL Paris 2024

March 20, 2024

Meat is one of the top sectors of the agri-food industry. With more than 360 million tonnes produced and a market value of nearly US$500 billion (approximately €457.9 billion) in 2023, the meat sector is predicted to continue to grow, although at a slower pace than in recent decades. Its strong value for the entire agri-food industry explains its important presence at SIAL Paris 2024 with over 700 exhibitors.

Meat continues to be part of the world’s diet although new food trends are slowing down meat consumption. This is the conclusion of the latest FAO Outlook. The report looks at development of the production and consumption of meat. It highlights downward pressure on the growth of demand amid high and rising consumer costs and weak income growth. This trend is anticipated to persist in the years to come.

With reduced purchasing power, consumers are expected to shift spending priorities to limit the overall purchase of meat, which constitutes a sizeable share of the food basket in middle-and high-income countries.

Current consumption trends do not however mean that consumers will stop eating meat. The FAO Outlook looks more at changing consumption habits with a shift towards cheaper meats and cold cuts, as well as reduced out-of-home food expenditures. Over the projection period, it is expected that global average per capita demand for meat will increase by 2%, from the 2020-2022 base period to 2032. This increase would translate into 0.7 kg/year/person on an edible retail weight equivalent basis.

Meat consumption patterns of consumers in most high-income countries (which represent 33% of total meat consumption for 16% of population in 2022) have started to stagnate, with changes mostly based on the consumed type and quality. Concerns about human health, environmental impacts and animal welfare are the main motivations prompting consumers in these countries to shift towards a diet varying demand among products or reduces overall demand.

Middle-income and low-income countries to stimulate meat consumption

The meat sector set to have a strong presence at SIAL Paris 2024
(Photo from Justus Menke for Unsplash)

Demand will continue to be sustained in middle-income countries. In these countries, where economic growth, urbanisation, and the growth of the fast-food industry progresses, more significant changes in the consumer meat choices are anticipated according to FAO Outlook.

In low-income countries, high population growth is expected to remain the key driver of higher meat consumption. However, limited access at relatively low income levels will continue to constrain growth in per capita consumption, which is only 15% of the average in high-income countries. The overall growth in the volume of meat consumption, aside from the United States, Brazil and China, is expected to be greater in low-income countries, especially India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and the Sub-Saharan region of Africa, according to FAO Outlook.

Worldwide, poultry, pork, beef, and sheep meat consumption is projected to grow 15%, 11%, 10%, and 15% respectively by 2032. Poultry is expected to account for 41% of the protein consumed from all meat sources in 2032, followed by pork, bovine and ovine.

Globally, there is a growing trend among consumers to become increasingly sensitive to animal welfare, environmental and health concerns, and poultry is said to have the lowest carbon footprint. In the case of the European Union, the FAO Outlook foresees an ongoing substitution of beef and pork by poultry.

The Outlook projects its per capita consumption to return to the level preceding the outbreak by 2023, as the impact on domestic availability abates and per capita consumption returns to its longer-term trend. The modernisation of the supply chain and improved genetics, combined with increasing investment in large-scale production units, will reduce production costs and increase productivity.

At SIAL Paris 2024, the meat sector will offer a fully comprehensive range of meat products such as butcher meats, poultry & game, charcuterie and cured meat. In the 2022 edition, 700 exhibitors from the sector were present with 88% being international. International companies such as Auchan, Autogrill, Carrefour, Five Guys, Fleury Michon, Flunch, Intermarché, Lunchgarden, Metro, Panzani, Quick or Taco Bell were among the visitors in the sector in the last edition of SIAL Paris.

(Main photo: SIAL 2016-2017)

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