Frozen Meat Segment to Grow


Globalization has led to changes in the food preferences and meat consumption patterns in different geographies. People prefer higher protein intake in their daily diets rich in meat products.

By Aslam Shaikh, Sr. Research Analyst, Food & Beverages, MarketsandMarkets Research Pvt. Ltd.

The world’s meat production (beef, pork and poultry) is estimated at 262.78 million tons in 2017, of which over 90 million tons were estimated to be contributed by the poultry sector. Beef, pork & chicken are all projected to set a new world production record in 2017 which would be the most meat produced in history. This growth in production is likely to be concentrated in the developing countries, which are also the main hubs for the rising demand for meat products.

Globally speaking…

The global meat industry has witnessed various changes over the last decade. This is because the global meat production and consumption have increased rapidly and, in many parts of the world, per capita consumption of meat is projected to grow steadily. However, North and Central America as well as Europe have been gradually losing market shares, whereas South America and Southeast Asia have become new hubs for production. The processed meat market is showing an upward trend in most developing economies such as the Middle East, South America and Africa.

Based on diverse religious and cultural preferences worldwide, the consumption of different kinds of meat such as beef, pork, mutton, and poultry varies. Unprocessed fresh meat usually spoils within a few hours or days and needs to be consumed immediately, but when processed, the meat can stay fresh for longer and also be transported over long distances. Processing the meat tends to enhance the flavor, tenderness, shelf-life and other characteristics of the meat product.

Processed meat products are prepared from a range of meat sources such as beef, pork, lamb, and poultry. When meat is industrially processed, it is enriched with several additives that serve the function of protecting the meat from spoilage or modifying its color, texture, and flavor. Processed meat can be classified in a variety of product types such as pre-cooked meat products, raw-cooked meat products, fresh-processed meat products, dried & cured meat, and meat products incorporating several types of meat ingredients providing them with their unique properties and characteristics.

Shopper behavior

Consumers prefer to buy meat in different forms such as sausages, ham, burgers, patties, kebabs, fillets, hot dogs and several regional dishes and specialties. The quality characteristics of raw meat, mainly represented by the chemical composition and functional properties, play a key role in terms of the final product quality and consumer preferences. The rising trend for processed meat products with functional properties has given rise to stringent inspection and quality standards to provide healthy products to the customers. However, processors have to deal with a certain changing raw meat quality which is caused by ante-mortem, post-mortem, and processing factors.

There has been increasing pressure on the meat sector to meet the growing demand for high-value animal protein. The poultry sector worldwide is growing at an unprecedented rate and the driving force behind this enormous surge is the combination of population growth, rising income, and urbanization. As diets have become more nutritious and diverse, the high-value protein that the poultry sector offers, improves the nutrition of a majority of consumers, globally. Poultry products not only provide high-value protein but are also important sources of a wide range of essential minerals. For a large majority of people, particularly in developing countries, poultry products remain a desired food for nutritional value and taste. One of the factors responsible for growth in the processed poultry meat market is the increase in income of middle-class population in developing countries. Furthermore, the growth of the global market for processed poultry is also driven by the low cost of poultry production given the high feed conversion rate. Poultry meat is labelled under the white meat category, which is considered healthier for consumption than red meat, thereby driving its demand in the global market.

Ingredients play a key role

One of the major reasons for the growth & evolution of the overall processed meat & poultry market is the improved efficiency of meat ingredients such as binders, extenders, fillers, coloring agents, texturing agents, flavoring agents, preservatives, and salts that give the meat products their unique properties and characteristics. Also, due to an increasing demand to reduce the cost of meat products, meat ingredients and other similar ingredients that increase the volume of the meat are gaining importance. Rising awareness of meat ingredients enhancing the properties of processed meat products linked to the health benefits of functional processed meat products is another factor driving for the processed meat market. Also, the evolution of X-ray technology to measuring fat accurately helps improve the yield and enhances the overall quality of the final product. Innovations to increase the shelf life of meat products, reducing sodium and accelerated & controlled acidification of meat products are the main factors propelling the growth of the processed meat industry.

The practice of processing poultry has seen significant changes, owing to the developments made in the poultry processing industry. Poultry processing is now carried out with the help of automated equipment that are equipped with latest technologies such as X-ray scanners, high-speed composite alloy cutting blades, and sensors among others. The mechanization of this process has not only influenced and reduced the labor-intensive work but has also led to positive changes in the safety issues in the processing industries.

Technology transformation in the poultry industry has been very rapid. The move from free-ranging to confined poultry operations drastically augmented the number of birds that a single farmer could manage. This shift facilitated the substitution of capital for labor in animal produc­tion and led to a significant rise in labor productivity. Tech­nology transformation in the poultry industry, led by progresses in breeding that enhanced animal size, productivity, growth rate and uniformity, has enabled farmers to increase output per unit of feed, produce more birds per year, improve animal disease control and decrease mortal­ity.