Brazilians are switching from beef to eggs and chicken meat
Beef consumption in Brazil has dropped abruptly in the last couple of years, while consumers are focusing on cheaper protein alternatives such as chicken meat and eggs. Since 2020, meat prices have skyrocketed due to increased exports to China. Compared to the price level reported in 2019, pork is 29% more expensive, chicken meat prices have spiked by 17%, beef by 16% and eggs by 11%.
Meat consumption has dropped 5% last year, due to economic uncertainties felt by consumers. Right now, meat consumption in Brazil is estimated at 36 kilo/.person, the lowest level since 2008. However, it is the 4th year in a row with a decline in meat consumption. Once a major beef consumer country, Brazil is now taking the role of the world's largest beef exporter. Prices, however, have discouraged consumption in the domestic market. So far, Brazilians are replacing beef on their plates with chicken meat and eggs, products with an increase in sales of 7% and 9%, respectively.
This trend is to stay, according to ABPA president, Ricardo Santin: "There will be an even greater boom in the consumption of chicken, pork and eggs."
The president of ABPA, Ricardo Santin, says that this scenario will remain even after the pandemic: "There will be an even greater boom in the consumption of chicken, pork and eggs."
In the expert's assessment, the arrival of the crisis accelerated a rearrangement in the participation of different types of protein in the population's shopping basket. According to an estimate by Conab (National Supply Company), Brazilians will consume this year the lowest amount of red meat per person in 25 years. Nevertheless, prices for all animal proteins are to increase in the following months. "We were resilient in the pandemic. We invested more than R$ 1 billion to keep the plants from stopping, protecting workers and not leaving food shortages. What happened in Europe and the United States, of lack of food on the shelf, did not happen here. But now we are losing our breath a little due to the increase in the price of corn and soy bran", explained Ricardo Santin.
To give you an idea, inputs make up 70% to 80% of the sector's production costs. From January 2019 to July 2021, on average, the price of corn jumped 170% and soybeans, 120%. Not even the packages escaped inflation. Flexible polyethylene packages rose 91% from July 2020 to April this year. The increase in costs will be passed on to the consumer and the price of proteins will remain high in 2021, estimates Santin.
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