Diet trends increase red meat consumption
Chicago, IL, October 26, 2004 -- According to Mintel's recent research, the $44.5 billion red meat industry posted an 18% increase in sales between 2002 and 2004, and a 39% increase since 1999. Sales have been robust due to the explosion of popularity of the Atkins diet in 2003, which led to an increased focus on red meat, particularly by men following the diet.
Almost a quarter of respondents have increased the amount of meat and fish they are eating due to the low-carb trend. The low-carb trend will undoubtedly continue to be popular, although it may be flattening out after the initial craze.
Current consumption rates are not expected to dramatically change over the next few years. Nearly nine out of ten Americans eat beef, 82% eat pork, and one-third eat veal. Among red meat eaters, these products are eaten fairly regularly by over half of respondents, with 55% eating red meat two or more times per week, and 25% eating it at least once a week. Fewer than 10% eat red meat less than once a month.
Hispanics are more likely than the overall population to eat beef, with 85% compared to 75% on average. With the Hispanic population increasing so rapidly, their influence is already being felt in supermarkets, which often have an entire aisle devoted to Hispanic foods.
Some 40% of respondents to Mintel's exclusive research also indicate that they are concerned about hormones and additives in meat or poultry. This may fuel a greater interest in organic meats, a trend struggling to gain a foothold in a weak economy where consumers have less disposable income. Three out of four respondents agree that red meat is the least healthy of the meat/proteins surveyed, followed by poultry with just 8% and fish or seafood at 6%. Red meat is generally much higher in fat than poultry and is often cited as a cause for health concerns.
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