The global meat market will value USD1.3tn by the end of 2020, reflecting a year-on-year decline of 5.3%, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. This is a stark contrast to the expected robust baseline growth the industry was experiencing pre-pandemic. Prior to COVID, the global meat industry was expected to grow at an annual rate of 2.6% over 2020 to reach a value of USD1.4tn.Also, the activity of meat manufacturers across North America continues to generate a lot of noise, with some processing plants from major companies such as Tyson and JBS resuming operations. Continued turbulence among meat packing players is likely to damage consumers’ trust in associated food products.
“Meat is a staple food in many cultures worldwide, thus the global downturn is evident of the current uncertainty and supply disruptions many markets are facing. Although production will stabilize in the long-term, a full recovery to a pre-COVID-19 value is unlikely,” Carmen Bryan, consumer analyst at GlobalData said. “Demand for transparent and clean practices from consumers has gained a lot of traction in recent years, and is leading to significant change across nearly all FMCG markets. A crisis such as this is likely to shape the meat industry off the back of consumer demand, particularly as it involves public health and safety. The fast rate of infection that meat processing facilities have exhibited, combined with the seemingly powerlessness from players to stop it, will play into current concerns over meat related diseases and packaging. As a result, some consumers may opt to avoid buying meat products, at least whilst under lockdown. The threat is that, should these challenges persist, it may lead to new buying behaviors, with consumers increasingly turning to meat alternatives, and sticking with them in the long-term,” she added.