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Photo: Trine Lomholt Bruun

What the latest food trends mean for the meat industry

Although the latest trends for 2018 present some challenges for the meat category, there are also opportunities. Consumers are reducing their meat intake at dinner time, are focusing on animal welfare and climate issues and are particularly concerned with health. Nevertheless, meat still plays a significant role when eaten outside the home. Read on to learn more about what’s going on...

The key trends for 2018 impact many food categories, but to a greater or lesser extent. This article looks at the impact the latest trends will have on the pork and beef categories.

Read about the main food trends in 2018 here.

Challenge to red meat
Red meat (pork, beef, veal and lamb) is being challenged, with a several trends at play, affecting attitudes in a negative direction. The idea that meat should be part of an evening meal is no longer current and a growing number of consumers* now have days when they limit their meat intake or avoid it altogether.

This is both for health reasons and because some consumers have concerns about animal welfare and/or the climate. Consumers across the world are becoming more aware of the ethics of meat production and its transparency. Traceability, food safety and animal welfare have become increasingly important and all food producers are expected to deliver on these to create consumer confidence.

Last but not least, red meat is being challenged by consumers’ greater openness to, and curiosity about, new interpretations of otherwise well-established dishes, where they look to other parts of the world for inspiration. In this respect, meat can play less of a role, with the result being slightly reduced meat consumption without the consumer being aware of it.

Growth potential
Nevertheless, the latest trends also open up opportunities for growth in the meat category, in particular the trend towards more natural, nutritious and real food and a growing acceptance of the natural fat content in meat as providing tenderness and taste. There are also good opportunities for creating more differentiated animal welfare concepts for aware but less price sensitive consumers. There are also indications that consumers are switching from eating in the home to eating out. The latter is showing signs of growth and there are no signs here of consumers cutting down on their red meat intake.

*Consumers in northern Europe

Basic data for the latest trends has been gathered by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council and is also based on insight from GfK ConsumerScan reports and sources such as Innova Market Insights, Euromonitor International and Mintel.

Read also:

Denmark: Consumer food trends for 2017