Don’t fear. The rise of the flexitarians doesn’t mean the end of the meat market

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Don’t fear. The rise of the flexitarians doesn’t mean the end of the meat market

Market Insights

Don’t fear. The rise of the flexitarians doesn’t mean the end of the meat market


Carnivores aren’t going away any time soon.  In fact, with the growing world population, more and more people want meat. According to data from Euromonitor International, since 2015, global meat consumption has grown by 2 percent. While this percentage may seem small, it actually accounts for hundreds of tons of meat.

Though overall meat sales are up, beef and veal consumption is going down. Here’s what we have learned:

  1. It’s not the trendiest choice. In a time where the flexitarian diet, also known as people who eat a mostly vegetarian diet but sometimes throw in meat or fish here or there, is becoming more popular, people are opting for leaner meats, seafood, and fish. 
  2. Consumers are worried about negative health effects. People associate red meat with cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and other serious health conditions that make them stray from those cuts. 
  3. Consumption of beef and veal is down in primarily developed, post-industrial parts of the world. So even though less people are eating beef and veal in places like the USA, Europe, and South America, it has actually seen growth in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific areas of the world.

So what does all of this mean for meat producers? Well, it starts with knowing what your target wants. If you are selling beef or veal, it’s all about selling the right product attributes to your consumer. Focus on lean cuts of meat, and use packaging that really highlights the quality of the meat.

For fish and chicken producers, this means the potential to appeal to a whole new market segment: the flexitarian. Grab the attention of health-conscious consumers with packaging that communicates good- for-the-body, wholesome meat (think Paper-Like™ paper alternative). Using current market trends to your advantage means higher revenue with less fuss on your end.

No matter your market, rest assured meat eaters are here to stay. Long live the carnivores, the flexitarians, and meat lovers alike.

This article was based on The Global Meat News coverage of Food Trends: Meat consumption up, beef declines, April 16th, 2016. To read the article, click here.