Meat eaters are increasingly selecting plant-based protein options rather than meat for health, environmental, and flavor reasons. Nevertheless, meat consumption worldwide is expected to increase 1.4% per year through 2023, according to data published in the new Packaged Facts report Global Meat & Poultry Trends.
Meat and poultry consumption in the United States is expected to increase less than 1% per year through 2023, but more significant 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 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, in a press release.
Globally, pork and poultry dominate meat consumption. The average prices for these meats are significantly lower than for beef, which contributes to their high levels of consumption, even in low-income countries. In the United States specifically, poultry remains the most consumed type of meat due to its low cost. Meanwhile, beef consumption is expected to stagnate, as U.S. consumers are increasingly selecting other protein sources due to the adverse health effects associated with high levels of red meat consumption. Nevertheless, the United States is a global leader in beef production, and Packaged Facts anticipates the segment will continue to account for a large share of total consumption.
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