Meat and Poultry Trends: Global Market Overview

Explore how the global meat and poultry market is developing into the future

July 1, 2024 –  The global meat and poultry market is a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape, influenced by a complex interplay of macro-level factors, consumer preferences, and product innovations. Innova’s 360 research will allow for a comprehensive analysis of this vital sector, offering insights into key trends, market developments, and emerging opportunities.

Macro Influence Trends

The global meat and poultry market is facing several macro-level influences. Key megatrends impacting the food and beverage industry, as well as the meat and poultry market include health pressures, technological change, and environmental effects.

Consumers are increasingly concerned about health and wellbeing, leading to a focus on healthier options and ingredients. Technological advancements, such as CRISPR gene editing and generative AI, are shaping the future of food production. Climate change is putting sustainability in sharper focus, with consumers globally prioritizing environmental concerns. Economic uncertainty and the cost-of-living crisis are also impacting consumer behavior, driving demand for value-for-money products and influencing purchasing decisions.

Meat and Poultry Market Consumer Insights

Meat cuts are the most commonly purchased subcategory within meat and poultry. The subcategory is also the most likely to be consumed two or more times per week. Comparatively, ready-made meat products are consumed less frequently on average.

Globally, meat and poultry consumption has remained relatively stable over the past year, with 72% of consumers stating their consumption stayed the same. However, 16% reported an increase in consumption, primarily driven by health reasons, while 12% reported a decrease, often due to budget constraints.

Taste is the top reason for consuming meat and poultry, with 53% of consumers globally citing it as a key factor. This is particularly true in Nigeria, Sweden, and Brazil. Because it is a staple food, because it is healthy, and for satiety are the next most important reasons. Freshness and cost are the most influential product attributes for meat and poultry purchases. Additionally, consumers are increasingly seeking high protein content, product safety, and locally sourced products. They are also drawn to clean label claims, including gluten-free, additives/preservatives, and high-protein.

Supermarkets dominate meat and poultry purchases, with 84% of consumers globally reporting this as their primary source. Dinner and lunch are the primary occasions for consuming meat and poultry.

Meat and Poultry Trends

Meat and Poultry Market Size and Trends

The global meat and poultry market is steadily growing, with a projected CAGR of 5% in sales and a volume CAGR of 2%. Asia is the largest region in sales, accounting for 37% of meat and poultry products sold in the past year, and is projected to be the fastest-growing region with a CAGR of 6% from 2022-2024. North America and Western Europe contribute 20% and 19% of sales, respectively. When measuring by country, China and the United States produce the most sales by a wide margin.

The market is experiencing strong growth in regions like Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The fastest-growing countries in terms of sales are India, the Philippines, Ecuador, Hong Kong, and Peru. In terms of product launches, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Ecuador, Slovenia, and Bahrain are growing fastest.

Top Companies and Brands

When comparing between private label and branded products, Australasia and West Europe represent the highest share of sales for private labels products, while branded product sales are more common in the Middle East and Asia. For private label launches, West Europe, Africa, and East Europe have a strong presence in the global market.

Global leaders in meat and poultry new product launches include Schwarz, Aldi, and Ahold Delhaize, with Schwarz as the top launcher in the category. Schwarz and Aldi account for nearly one in ten global launches of meat and poultry products.

Tyson Foods is one of the most prominent producers of meat and poultry products, and focuses on beef, pork, chicken, and prepared foods. With operations in 16 countries, Tyson sells products in approximately 140 countries and continues to evaluate growth opportunities in foreign locations. The company notes that it is positioned to feed the world while delivering local and cultural tastes and preferences

WH Group identifies itself as the world’s largest pork company, ranking first in China, the US and key markets in Europe. Principal subsidiaries include Shuanghui Development in China and Smithfield in the US. The company’s business covers three main segments: packaged meat products, fresh pork and hog production.

Hormel Foods, a branded food company, focuses on driving growth in the retail business and expanding its presence in key markets. They are committed to innovation and adapting to evolving consumer demands.

These companies are constantly innovating and expanding their product portfolios to cater to diverse consumer preferences. They are also actively involved in sustainability initiatives, reflecting the growing importance of ethical and responsible practices in the food industry.

New Meat and Poultry Product Launch Trends

The global meat and poultry market saw a 7% CAGR in new product launches from 2019 to 2023. Poultry saw the strongest growth, with 52% more introductions in 2023 than in 2019.

West Europe is the most active region for new product launches, accounting for 40% of all activity in 2023. The UK leads the way, followed by China, Italy, Brazil, and Germany. Africa and the Middle East are the fastest-growing regions for new product launches, with CAGRs of 18% and 15%, respectively.

Gluten-free and additive/preservative-free claims remain popular, with a slight decline in the use of gluten-free claims since 2019. Health-related claims, such as high protein and lactose-free, are on the rise. Ethical animal welfare and environmental claims are also gaining traction.

Chicken-based products are experiencing the strongest growth, with a 6% increase in launches since 2019. Unflavored products account for two-thirds of new product launches, particularly in the Middle East and Latin America. Smoked, chili, and spice flavors are popular, with a significant increase in the use of chili and spice flavors since 2019.

What’s Next in Meat and Poultry Market Trends?

The global meat and poultry market is poised for continued growth, presenting exciting opportunities for innovation. Asia is the largest region for sales and is projected to be the fastest-growing, while Western Europe contributes a significant share of new product development. Cost remains a key concern for consumers, driving demand for budget-friendly solutions like smaller package sizes and lower-priced alternatives.

Consumers are increasingly seeking high-protein options, making it crucial for brands to highlight protein claims prominently on packaging for easy comparison. Dinner and lunch are the primary times for meat consumption, but there’s potential to innovate formats that make on-the-go snacking and breakfast occasions more feasible.

Chili and spice flavors are experiencing growth, particularly among younger consumers seeking flavor variety. Consumers are also looking for restaurant-quality experiences at home, creating an opportunity for brands to create in-home marinades and seasoning packets.

The demand for locally sourced and transparently produced products is growing, emphasizing the importance of storytelling about farmers and food production practices. Finally, with chicken experiencing strong growth, brands should focus on health claims related to weight management, heart health, and protein content to stand out from competitors.


This article is based on our report, “Now & Next in Meat & Poultry – Global​.” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
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