In my last blog I wrote about where per capita poultry meat consumption is highest. Despite a fair amount of interest across social media, one commentator said that it would be far more interesting to report on total amounts of poultry meat consumed, rather than simply on how much each person eats, so I have delved once more into the OECD FAO Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027.  

There are no great surprises in which countries rank the highest in terms of the volume of chicken and other avian meats consumed annually, but a ranking gives a good idea of where poultry meat consumption may be expected to rise, not least by considering which countries rank low or are absent from the list.

Food for thought

Population size alone is not enough to guarantee a place on the list; level of economic development affects purchasing power. Take, for example, India, ranked at No. 7, despite being the second most populous country in the world.

As its economy continues to grow, and poverty is alleviated, India can only be expected to move further up the ranking, and growth in poultry meat consumption may be expected to outstrip growth in demand for other meats due to an absence of religious restrictions.

Similarly, despite large populations, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Bangladesh do not make it into the list of the 10 largest poultry meat consumers. As incomes rise, however, this can be expected to change.

And there are countries with small populations, relative to peers on the list, that may be expected to fall further down the rankings as time goes by. Some may already have advanced economies with populations that enjoy high volumes of meat in their diets, while others may favor poultry over some other meats due to religious and cultural reasons, pushing them up the ranking but which, over time, will be overtaken by others.

Ten largest poultry meat consuming countries (000 tonnes)

  1. China: 19,028
  2. United States: 18,044
  3. European Union: 14,013
  4. Brazil: 8,893
  5. Russia: 5,159
  6. Mexico: 4,072
  7. India: 3,257
  8. Japan: 2,444
  9. South Africa: 2,312
  10. Iran: 2,114

Source: OECD FAO Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027