Even with all of the new meat alternatives making their way onto grocery store shelves, the demand for processed meat remains high. And it’s growing fast. According to “Meat Processing Equipment Market, Global Forecast to 2022,” a market research report recently commissioned by FPSA, all processed meat categories will experience substantial growth over the next few years, led by the fresh processed meat and raw cooked meat segments.
Key factors driving demand for processed meat
Several factors are contributing to increased demand for processed meat, in both North America (the largest market) and the rest of the world.
- Urbanization — Rapid urbanization is the largest factor driving demand for processed meat, especially in North America. This is because people are spending less time cooking, which means they want more convenient options.
- Economic growth — Countries like China and India are experiencing economic growth, which is fueling employment levels, consumer disposable income, and, as a result, spending on processed food.
- Desire for protein-rich foods, ready-to-cook, and ready-to-eat foods — This desire grows out of the two factors above. As people have more money and less time, they’re increasingly seeking high-quality convenience.
The impact of safety regulations
Clearly, higher demand for processed meat means higher demand for meat processing equipment. But there’s another major driver as well: safety regulations. These take two forms: food safety and worker safety.
On the food safety side, FSMA and it’s counterparts around the world are prompting meat processors to seek out more automated technologies that remove humans — and thus the likelihood of human error — from the equation.
On the worker safety side, although injuries in the meat and poultry industry decreased by half from 2004 to 2013, these processing facilities are still hazardous environments. With U.S. meat consumption expected to hit an all-time high this year, processed meat manufacturers are looking for more advanced, and, again, more automated, equipment.
Opportunities for meat processing equipment manufacturers
The projected increase in processed meat demand presents huge opportunities for meat processing equipment manufacturers, especially those offering cutting-edge technologies. The global market for meat processing equipment is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 7%, reaching $14.5 billion in 2022.
While North America will continue to account for the largest share of the market, the rest of the world, and in particular the Asia-Pacific region, is predicted to grow at a faster rate. The markets in South Africa and South America are also expected to grow at an accelerated rate.
Meeting the higher level of consumer demand won’t be without its challenges. Expansion into new markets will require substantial investment in infrastructure, including efficient supply chain management. But fortune favors the bold, and the companies that move first into these untapped markets will likely have an advantage for years to come.
The full global trends and forecast report is available for free to FPSA members. Non-member companies may also purchase a copy of the report. Request your copy here.