Globally, processed meat is forecasted to grow at 0.9% over the next five years, in constant retail value terms. In contrast, the Middle East and Africa region will account for 3% of the total global retail value by 2022, growing at 4.6% over the same time period.
Chilled processed meat represents a large proportion of processed meats, but is coming under increasing pressure since the publishing of a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), where processed red meat was classified as carcinogenic, in the same class of cancer risk as tobacco smoke. Meat substitutes continue to gain popularity, with consumers shifting from frozen to chilled variants. Processed red meat sales are under pressure with global retail volumes declining, and consumption in China and the US each showing a 3% decline. Concerns over health, environment and animal welfare, as well as changing demographics and tastes, have all contributed to red meat’s waning popularity across its largest markets. In the face of the latest developments, meat-oriented businesses will need to defend their brands and are likely to emphasize the benefits of meat consumption, such as the fact it contains important nutrients and high quality proteins. They are also likely to include a greater variety of less processed products in their portfolio.
Iran and Egypt are the two largest markets in the region. In Iran, chilled processed meat continued to record double-digit value sales growth in 2016, notably driven by sales of kielbasa and sausages, thanks to improvements in product distribution and affordability.
A key trend in new launches was the addition of herbs and the combination of red meat and poultry. The future is likely to see mainstream meat brands moving away from conventional red meats towards healthier variants, such as organic meat or poultry, and possibly the addition of meat substitutes to their portfolios.
*Source: Euromonitor International