EU retail sales of meat decline in 2021

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Meat consumption has long been under pressure. Let’s take a look at what trends were recorded in 2021 in a few European countries. Of course, there are several differences between 2021 and 2020, most notably fewer months of lockdowns and restaurant closures due to Covid-19 in 2021. As hospitality was open for more of 2021, we would expect to see some declines in retail volumes.


Chart showing meat demand in France

In France has demand recorded near universal declines in volume and value across the different meat categories. Fresh sheep meat is the exception with a small growth in value, driven by a sharp price increase which offset the drop in volumes. Fresh pork and sausages recorded the largest declines.


Chart showing meat demand in Germany

In contrast to earlier in the calendar year, total year data for Germany shows sharp declines in the volume of meat purchased by households.


Chart showing meat demand in Spain

Total meat consumption in Spain during the 12 months ending November 2021 reflects the above trends recorded in France and Germany, recording an 8.4% decrease in volumes.


Chart showing meat demand in Italy

In Italy data shows some contraction in the value of the beef market, but significant contraction for many pork products. Compared to the pre-pandemic period, the value of these meat products at retail is inflated.

Chart showing inflation in the EU

The hospitality sector within Europe was optimistic that a good performance in the second half of 2021 could be had, and it looks like this may have been the case, helping to offset some of these declines seen at retail level. Going forwards European consumers, just like those in the UK, may find their spending power reduced due to increased rates of inflation across the continent.

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