Belgians enjoy meat, but regularly alternate with poultry, fish or vegetarian
Home consumption of fresh red meat decreased by 3% in volume in 2019. A decrease of 0.6% was recorded for processed meats. The Belgian alternates red meat with poultry, fish and vegetarian. This is evident from figures from GfK Belgium, which tracks food purchases from 5,000 Belgian families on behalf of VLAM.
Red meat (pork, beef, veal, lamb, mutton and horse meat) continues to occupy an important place in the Belgian diet. Home consumption of fresh red meat decreased by 3% in kg per capita in 2019, to 16.4 kg per capita or 315 g per week (Source: GfK Belgium).
In addition to fresh red meat, the average Belgian last year also bought 8.4 kg of fresh poultry and game, 4.6 kg of fresh fish, molluscs and shellfish and 0.35 kg of vegetarian meat substitutes. In the long term, the share of poultry and meat substitutes will grow. The latter's share is limited to 1.1%.
72% say they eat meat 1 to 5 times a week (red meat and poultry and game), 19% eat meat more often and 9% eat less often or never (Source: iVox Feb 2020). The Belgian therefore regularly and consciously enjoys a piece of meat and he alternates with fish and vegetarian.
The purchased meat range has remained fairly stable over the years. The meat mixes (including mixed minced meat) remain the largest segment within red meat at 36% of the volume, followed by pure pork at 31%. Pure beef was able to increase its volume share in 2019 from 25 to 26%. Veal is a small segment with 3% by volume.
Meat is traditionally part of the Belgian diet. Belgians love the taste of meat and are also convinced of its nutritional value (Source: iVox Feb 2020).
In the purchase decision, the interest of the country of origin increased from 52%, who found this important in 2013 to 61% in 2020 and the production method increased from 42% to 50%. Among those who attach importance to the country of origin, 96% have a preference for home-grown products. They prefer homegrown meat because it is often cheaper, because it supports the local economy, because there are strict controls and high standards, because it is more environmentally friendly (including fewer food kilometers) and it is fresher.
Meat purchases reflect three-quarters of meat consumption. A quarter of the consumption occurs elsewhere (catering, work, school, on the road, etc.).
Home consumption of processed meats decreased by 0.6% to 10.05 kg per capita in 2019 or 193 g per week. Poultry preparations continue to grow at charcuterie, to the detriment of pâté and cookware.