Create a free Manufacturing.net account to continue

Consumer Trends: Outlook for Canada's Meat & Poultry Industry

The meat, beef and poultry processing industry is a powerhouse behind Canada's food processing sector, representing about 10 percent of total agri-food exports and employing more than 66,500 people. But the industry has struggled for the past five years due to receding per capita meat consumption.

LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) — The Meat, Beef and Poultry Processing industry is a powerhouse behind Canada's food processing sector, representing about 10.0 percent of total agri-food exports and employing over 66,500 people. In spite of this role, the industry has struggled during the past five years due to receding per capita meat consumption. “Disease outbreaks, a growing awareness of the health risks associated with red meat consumption, and limited disposable income in light of the recession, have threatened Canadian appetites for steaks and fresh meats,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Agiimaa Kruchkin. “As consumers tightened their purse strings due to the financial crisis, they also scaled back the quality and quantity of meat products purchased.” These consumer cutbacks were further exacerbated by disease outbreaks, including the 2009 swine flu pandemic, which slashed downstream demand from wholesale trade by a remarkable 15.0 percent. Consequently, industry revenue has dropped at an average annual rate of 0.2 percent to $24.0 billion in the five years to 2013.

The associated risks of obesity, heart disease and certain cancers has played a major role in curbing consumption of red meats, such as pork and beef, in the five years to 2013. Many Canadians have switched to healthier sources of protein such as fish, seafood, soy meats, beans and poultry. This trend, in turn, has maintained demand for industry products (i.e. chicken, duck and turkey) to an extent, resulting in only a marginal annual drop in the consumption of poultry products. Furthermore, because meat still is a staple in the Canadian diet, consumers' rebounding disposable incomes will bolster revenue 0.6 percent in 2013.

The Meat, Beef and Poultry Processing industry has a medium concentration of ownership. The three largest companies in this industry are Cargill, JBS Food Canada Inc., and Maple Leaf Foods. Acquisitions by larger industry operators have increased concentration over the past five years, and this trend is projected to continue due to profitability pressures in many major firms, as key players concentrate on core business development to achieve optimal economies of scale.

“As the economy is anticipated to rebound and the consumer sentiment is expected to improve, meat processing revenue is forecast to beef up,” says Kruchkin. “Although downstream demand is expected to recover during the next five years, potential disease outbreaks and unfavourable weather conditions may cause volatility on a year-to-year basis.” To combat such fluctuations, industry operators will increasingly focus on improving efficiencies via technological advancements, while maintaining profit margins via acquisition-based growth. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Meat, Beef & Poultry Processing in Canada industry report page.

More in Operations