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Wednesday 19.09.2018 | Name days: Verners, Muntis

Expert: meat consumption will only increase next year

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUMeat consumption in Latvia has grown in the past 15 years, and it is expected that this trend will continue next year, HKScan Latvia sales director Heino Lapiņš describes the situation.

He says that Latvians do not eat meat as much as their neighbours in Lithuania and Estonia do – average meat consumption per capita in Latvia was 67.35 kg in 2016, whereas in Lithuania its was 89 kg per capita and in Estonia – 82.2 kg. Pork is in the lead in all three countries (in 2016, an average person in Latvia consumed 19 kg of pork). The second most popular type of meat is chicken, demand for which has grown dramatically in recent years.

He says: «This can be explained with its growing popularity and important nutrients this type of meat contains».

It is important to note that the amount of meat people consume, in a way, reflects the economic situation in the country. For example, meat consumption tends to decrease during a crisis. However, once economic indexes start to increase, so does demand for meat, says the company’s sales director.

He notes that meat consumption in Latvia reached its highest peak in 2016 for the first time since 2009 – the aforementioned 67.35 kg per capita (72 kg per capita before the crisis). It is expected that this growth trend will continue in the future, because the more people’s income increases the more meat they consume.

Lapiņš says a similar conclusion can be made if we look back at the time when Baltic States first adopted euro. For example, prices in Estonia seemed visually lower after adopting euro. This resulted in an increase of sales of meat products. In Latvia, on the other hand, the opposite was observed – euro adoption made prices look higher, which meant people bought meat products less often.

«Looking at different product groups, it is worth mentioning that meat is one of the rare categories of products whose consumption has grown in the last 15 years. As a comparison – bread consumption has declined nearly by half in the same period of time. This can be explained with general trends in our society, this specifically applies to the belief that white bread can cause harm to the body. With consumption of white bread in decline, consumption of different grains and seeds increases. This is because people still want to eat healthily,» says Lapiņš.

Data shows that demand has also declined for fish over the course of the years. But in this case the trend can be explained with people’s desire to purchase higher quality goods, which usually cost more.

«Looking at next year, it can be safely said that the current trends will continue next year – demand for meat will keep increasing. A rapid demand increase has also been observed for easily prepared products (nuggets, cutlets, etc.). Also compared with last year, there has been an increase for oven products. The situation will be similar next year,» comments the company’s representative.

At the same time, the expert adds that this trend demonstrates people’s growing trust for quickly-prepared products. «People dislike eating the same meal every day, so they give preference to variety. Already there is growing demand for bacon. We expect it keep growing next year.»

«It is very possible that hamburgers may replace traditional shashlik in the next two years. This product can help add variety and allow each person pick which ingredients they want to add. In addition, ingredients do not cost much. We expect this segment to grow and develop in future years,» predicts Lapiņš.

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