Western Europe leads global retail value sales of processed meat and seafood. This is driven by high unit prices and growth in categories perceived as healthier, such as processed seafood and meat substitutes, driven by flexitarian diets and a growing desire for plant-based food. In the coming years, new developments will be focused on these areas. This report includes a regional overview and key trends of processed meat and seafood in different markets.
Western Europe leads global per capita processed meat and seafood sales in value terms, due in part to high unit prices. Overall, processed meat consumption has declined, as concerns about its impact on human health have increased. Shelf stable meat, in particular, is losing ground due to the perception of it as being heavily processed. On the other hand, consumption of processed seafood and meat substitutes has increased, as these are perceived as healthier.
Meat substitutes is a very dynamic category; however, it accounts for only 2% of processed meat and seafood in Western Europe. Flexitarian diets and, to a lesser extent, vegan diets are contributing to growth in meat substitutes. Among the countries that stand out in meat substitutes are Denmark, Switzerland and Portugal.
The market is very fragmented, with the top 10 players accounting for only 13% of retail value. Nomad Foods is the leading company in the region, with wide distribution across the biggest markets. A common trend among the top players is healthier innovations, for example, Herta and Fleury Michon have launched nitrite-free and low-salt varieties.
Discounters have increased their distribution share thanks to low prices and special limited deals. For example, Aldi has promotions that vary week by week in beauty, baby products and sports products. Also, the premiumisation of discounters’ private label has appealed to consumers as it offers access to higher quality products.
Future growth will be supported by categories perceived as healthier, such as poultry, meat substitutes and processed seafood. Among the major markets, sales are forecast to grow strongly in the UK, Italy and Spain, with declines in Germany and France.
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