Top 20 Countries with the Highest Meat Consumption - InvestingChannel

Top 20 Countries with the Highest Meat Consumption

In this article, we will be covering the top 20 countries with the highest meat consumption. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of the meat industry and consumption trends, go directly to the Top 5 Countries with the Highest Meat Consumption.

As reported in one of our articles earlier, the global meat products market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period of 2022 to 2029. The market is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% to reach a total value of $1,345.9 billion. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) forecasted global annual meat production of 361 million tons in 2022. This translated into an average meat consumption per person per day of 118.6 grams. The FAO has forecasted an increase of 14% in global meat consumption by 2030. Considering the projected global population surpassing 9 billion by the middle of this century, it is expected that global meat consumption will rise to 570 million tons by 2050.

Overall, global meat consumption has been increasing steadily over the past few decades. According to Our World in Data, Hong Kong and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are the countries in which meat consumption per capita is increasing at the fastest rate. Factors such as population growth, urbanization, and rising incomes in developing countries have contributed to this trend. As more people move out of poverty, they often seek to include more meat in their diets. Meat consumption varies significantly across different regions of the world. Spain, Italy, and France are among the leading consumers of meat in Europe. Developed countries tend to have higher meat consumption per capita compared to developing countries. While India has a significant level of annual meat supply, the country’s per capita meat consumption stands at only 4.58 kg. This makes India the country that eats the least meat on a per-person basis on our list. On the other hand, countries like Germany, the United States, and Japan rank among the top 10 countries with the highest meat consumption. These nations have well-established meat industries and a cultural preference for meat-based diets.

Key Players in the Industry

As of 2023, 72%, or $963.20 billion, of the global meat industry revenue, is dependent on fresh meat and 26.2%, or $347 billion, comes from processed meat. Meanwhile, the remaining 1.8% or $12.74 billion, is contributed by meat substitutes. The patterns of red meat consumption per capita by country play a significant role in shaping the global meat industry landscape. Some of the leading companies capitalizing on the expanding meat industry include Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL), Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ:BYND), and The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR). You can also read about the 10 Best Beef Stocks to Buy Now here.

In the United States, the biggest meat company in terms of revenue is Kansas-based Cargill Meat Solutions, a subsidiary of the privately held company Cargill Incorporated. Cargill Meat Solutions had an annual revenue of $165 billion in 2022, with a headcount of 165,000 employees. Another significant provider of meat products in the US is Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN). The company had an annual revenue of $53.3 billion as of 2022. Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) has a presence in 45 states and employs 140,000 people. Furthermore, quick service restaurants (QSR) like the Chicago, Illinois-based McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) also play an important role in the meat industry. McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) alone purchases 0.861 million tons of beef annually to serve billions of burgers across the world through its 38,000 locations.

With this context in mind, let’s take a look at our meat consumption by country rankings.

Top 20 Countries with the Highest Meat Consumption Copyright: andreadonetti / 123RF Stock Photo

Our Methodology

We obtained the annual meat consumption data for all the countries from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In order to gain a better understanding of the consumption patterns, we also calculated the meat consumption per capita for each country by dividing the annual consumption by the total population figures sourced from the World Bank. The countries have been ranked in ascending order of their annual meat consumption as of 2020.

Top 20 Countries with the Highest Meat Consumption 

20. Canada

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 3.42 million tons

Population: 37,742,150

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 90.55 kg

Canadians have a long-standing tradition of consuming beef, including steaks, ground beef, and other cuts. Pork is also widely consumed in various forms, such as bacon, sausages, and pork chops. Beef is often associated with Canadian cuisine, including dishes like poutine, hamburgers, and steak.

19. South Africa

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 3.54 million tons

Population: 59,308,690

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 59.77 kg

South Africa is known for its vibrant braai culture, which refers to the tradition of grilling and barbecuing meat outdoors. Braais are social gatherings where family and friends come together to enjoy grilled meats, often accompanied by side dishes, salads, and beverages. Popular meats for braais include beef, lamb, pork, and chicken.

18. Philippines

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 3.70 million tons

Population: 109,581,080

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 33.74 kg

Pork and chicken are the most commonly consumed meats in the Philippines. The total annual meat consumption stood at 3.70 million tons in the country as of 2020.

17. South Korea

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 4.03 million tons

Population: 51,269,180

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 78.53 kg

South Korea is known for its barbecue as it is a popular dining experience in the country that has gained international recognition as well. It involves grilling various types of meat, such as beef (especially bulgogi and galbi), pork (samgyeopsal and dwaeji galbi), and chicken (dak-galbi). Korean barbecue restaurants are widely popular and offer a social and interactive dining experience.

16. Pakistan

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 4.10 million tons

Population: 220,892,340

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 18.59 kg

Mutton (goat or lamb) and beef are the most frequently consumed meats in Pakistan. The country had a per capita meat consumption of 18.59 kg as of 2020.

15. Italy

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 4.24 million tons

Population: 60,461,830

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 70.19 kg

Italy offers a variety of meats that are enjoyed in different regions and dishes. Beef, pork, poultry (such as chicken and turkey), and lamb are co-consumed. Italian cuisine is highly regionalized, and meat dishes often reflect local traditions and flavours. For example, in Tuscany, bistecca alla Fiorentina (grilled T-bone steak) is a renowned speciality. The country has secured the fifteenth position on our list of the top 20 countries with the highest meat consumption.

14. Spain

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 4.76 million tons

Population: 46,754,780

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 101.87 kg

Spain has various traditional meat-based dishes like jamón ibérico (cured Iberian ham), chorizo (spicy sausage), and lomo (pork loin). Pork is also a key ingredient in popular dishes like cocido madrileño (Madrid-style stew) and fabada asturiana (Asturian bean stew). While pork is the most widely consumed meat, beef and veal also have their place in Spanish cuisine.

13. Indonesia

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 4.89 million tons

Population: 273,523,610

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 17.89 kg

Indonesia is one of the few countries on this list that prefer chicken as their primary meat source. It is used in a wide range of dishes, such as ayam goreng (fried chicken), ayam bakar (grilled chicken), and ayam rica-rica (spicy chicken). Duck (bebek) is also popular, especially in dishes like bebek goreng (fried duck) and bebek betutu (spiced duck).

12. Argentina

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 4.98 million tons

Population: 45,195,770

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 110.15 kg

Argentina is renowned worldwide for its beef production and consumption. The country is known for its high-quality grass-fed beef, and beef dishes are an integral part of Argentine cuisine. Asado is a traditional Argentine barbecue that involves grilling various cuts of beef, such as ribs, steaks, and sausages, over an open flame or charcoal.

11. France

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 5.11 million tons

Population: 65,273,510

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 78.24 kg

France has a $53.90 billion meat industry as of 2023 that offers a wide variety of meats, including beef, pork, poultry, lamb, and game. Each type of meat has its own unique preparation methods and regional specialities. Beef is highly regarded in France, and various cuts are used in traditional dishes.

10. United Kingdom

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 5.37 million tons

Population: 67,886,010

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 79.10 kg

The United Kingdom is at the tenth position on our list of the top 20 countries with the highest meat consumption. Customary dishes in the country include roast beef, bacon, and sausages. Sunday roast, a meal featuring roasted meat (often beef, pork, or lamb), vegetables, and Yorkshire pudding, is a popular tradition in many households.

9. Vietnam

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 5.90 million tons

Population: 97,338,580

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 60.60 kg

Pork is amongst the most widely consumed meat in Vietnam. It is used in a variety of dishes, including braised pork belly, grilled pork skewers, and crispy roasted pork.

8. India

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 6.32 million tons

Population: 1,380,004,390

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 4.58 kg

India has the lowest per capita meat consumption amongst all the countries on this list. India has a significant vegetarian population, and vegetarianism is deeply rooted in the country’s culture. Many Hindus abstain from consuming meat, particularly beef, due to religious beliefs.

7. Germany

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 6.60 million tons

Population: 83,783,940

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 78.76 kg

Germany is renowned for its diverse selection of sausages. There are numerous regional varieties, including bratwurst, currywurst (sausage topped with curry ketchup), weißwurst (Bavarian white sausage), and bockwurst. Sausages are commonly enjoyed with mustard, sauerkraut, and bread. Pork is the most popular meat in Germany, and it is used in a wide range of traditional dishes.

6. Japan

Total Annual Meat Consumption: 6.75 million tons

Population: 126,476,460

Per Capita Annual Meat Consumption: 53.42 kg

Japan has a range of traditional meat-based dishes. Nikujaga (beef and potato stew), oden (simmered assortment of ingredients including meats), and sukiyaki (hot pot with beef, vegetables, and tofu) are examples of popular meat-based traditional dishes. Pork is also used in a variety of dishes, such as tonkatsu (breaded and deep-fried pork cutlet), yakitori (grilled skewered pork), and shabu-shabu (hot pot with thinly sliced pork).

Some of the leading companies capitalizing on the rising demand for meat include Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL), Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ:BYND), and The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR).

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