How the global supply landscape for meat protein will evolve

30 November 2018

Global meat consumption patterns are changing, creating challenges as well as opportunities for businesses within the protein industry. In the last ten years the demand for protein has grown globally. Half of total global meat consumption growth comes from China, creating opportunities to invest at various stages of protein value chain. However, the demand is expected to slow dramatically over the next 10 years, with only some regions maintaining a growing demand. Plant-based protein and synthetic meat alternatives are already competing with animal protein products in many regions across the world. Businesses in the meat protein market will need to adapt their strategies to the key developments that will have a big impact on meat protein demand.

While some countries will follow a Western diet, others will not, leading to divergent patterns in protein consumption. A number of ‘hot spots’ across the world will encourage demand growth for specific types of meat protein and businesses will need to be aware of any market-specific growth anomalies. For example, while Japanese and South Korean consumers prefer Australian and New Zealand grass-fed pastured beef and Chinese consumers prefer India’s low-cost buffalo meat, the Chinese preference will shift towards higher-quality meat, advantaging Australian and New Zealand exporters. In contrast, India (due to a large vegetarian population) will maintain a low demand for animal protein. The regional differences (such as production efficiency and infrastructure) and the shifting preferences will need to be taken into account when making decisions or readjusting strategies. Investment and innovation in meat-protein industry is key as, despite decreasing demand for animal protein in some countries, global consumption of meat will continue to rise.

Read the full report on the McKinsey & Co. website.

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