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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
Poultry Processing & Slaughter / Broilers & Layers / Aquaculture Research / North America
Pollos de engorde
Kharhan, Bigstock.com
on November 1, 2017

Poultry, aquaculture set to dominate protein markets

Aquaculture and poultry are winning the competitive battle for share of the global farmed animal protein market.

There are major differences in competitiveness among the diverse species that make up the global animal protein supply. The winners in this competitive battle are the species that are both highly desired by consumers and efficient to produce.

Read the entire report about the future of the protein market in the November issue of WATT PoultryUSA.

Global protein production trends clearly show who is winning and who is falling behind. If 1990-2014 growth rates persist, chicken will overtake pork as the No. 1 meat by about 2020. In the not-too-distant future aquaculture could overtake chicken.

Dramatic differences in growth rates among proteins

Within total protein supply, ability to compete is revealed by production trends. The fastest growing species are those that are suitable for large scale production and the most feed-efficient.

Figure 1 contains 1990 through 2014 Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR) history for the major meats, eggs, aquaculture (farmed fish and shrimp), several minor meat categories, plus global population. The items are sorted from fastest to slowest growth rate. The only item growing slower than population is beef and buffalo. The clear majority of that category is beef. Total meat, egg and aquaculture production is growing 1.5 percentage points faster than population, indicating a 1.5 percent annual global per capita growth. Beef and buffalo production is growing much slower than global population, and average per capita consumption is shrinking.

Feed efficiency drives growth

Looking at the table’s CAGR rankings, the higher ranked categories are generally the most feed efficient protein producers, and lower ranked are less feed efficient. Feed efficiency is related to production cost. A major exception is turkey, ranked near the CAGR bottom, but more feed efficient than pork.

Another important factor is consumer acceptance. The fastest growing species are almost universally acceptable. That would include all poultry products and fish. Beef and pork both face significant religious and cultural barriers that limit demand in some parts of the world. 

This is the 11th article in WATT Global Media's 100-year anniversary series, which offers a glimpse into the future of protein markets. The next article in the series will explore food safety. 

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