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Processed Meat and Seafood in Western Europe

December 2019

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.

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Key Findings

Processed seafood and meat substitutes increase, while meat decreases

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 show dynamism but are still small in Western Europe

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 main players redefine their strategies through innovation

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 take share from supermarkets and hypermarkets

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 supported by categories perceived as healthier

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.



Key findings

Regional Overview

Western Europe is the biggest region for processed meat and seafood
Meat substitutes and processed seafood will drive future growth
Chilled processed meat declines in the biggest markets, except Italy
Growth of meat substitutes supported by flexitarian diets
Chilled processed meat declines in the biggest markets…
… but smaller markets still show potential for growth
Hypermarkets and supermarkets lose share to discounters and online
Commoditisation results in a high share of private label

Leading Companies and Brands

Private label leads as it focuses on locally sourced products
Nortura and Veronesi gain share while Fleury Michon loses
Companies that operate across Europe may mitigate Brexit risks
Health innovations and product updates are strategies of the top players

Forecast Projections

Meat substitutes, processed seafood and poultry are driving growth…
… Except in countries with a tradition for chilled processed meat
Most countries face strong competition from fresh food
Healthier products a key trend in new product development

Country Snapshots

Germany: market context
Germany: competitive and retail landscape
France: market context
France: competitive and retail landscape
Italy: Market context
Italy: competitive and retail landscape
UK: market context
UK: competitive and retail landscape
Spain: market context
Spain: competitive and retail landscape
Belgium: Market context
Belgium: competitive and retail landscape
Netherlands: Market context
Netherlands: competitive and retail landscape
Norway: Market context
Norway: competitive and retail landscape
Sweden: Market context
Sweden: competitive and retail landscape
Switzerland: market context
Switzerland: competitive and retail landscape
Denmark: Market context
Denmark: competitive and retail landscape
Austria: Market context
Austria: competitive and retail landscape
Finland: Market context
Finland: competitive and retail landscape
Turkey: Market context
Turkey: competitive and retail landscape
Ireland: market context
Ireland: competitive and retail landscape
Portugal: Market context
Portugal: competitive and retail landscape
Greece: market context
Greece: competitive and retail landscape


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