How government aid can help Mexico's meat consumption

Mexican consumers have benefited from better household incomes and now consume more meat, especially chicken.

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The Mexican Meat Council (Consejo Mexicano de la Carne, Comecarne) is a private, non-profit organization integrated by meat protein companies to promote development, growth and competitiveness in the meat sector. Meat protein companies comprise beef, pork, chicken, turkey and cold cuts.

Comecarne just recently released its 2023 Stats Compendium of the meat industry in Mexico (there is an English version available). It is a very thorough analysis of the Mexican meat industry. Personally, I was very pleased to attend the presentation and witness the thorough work they have done.

They used millions of data points from different sources and made many comparisons in the publication. But here I have a few that drew my attention. For instance, the average Mexican spent 33.4% of food expenditure in meat proteins. It is the highest expenditure, by far, compared to other foods (fruits and vegetables, cereals, dairy, eggs, etc.). I think this is quite high.

In terms of chicken meat, whole fresh chicken accounts for the largest amount consumed weekly, followed by bone-in parts (1.707 kg and 1.462 kg/week/household, respectively). This shows how basic the market is in Mexico – fresh chicken vs. value-added products. Also, 57% of chicken is acquired in fresh chicken outlets (pollerías) and 17% in markets, while supermarkets account for only 12% and other points of sale even less. There are almost 60,000 pollerías in the country commercializing 99% of retail chicken. Most of them are concentrated in the central part of the country.

But referring to the headline of this blog, the interesting part is that Mexico’s population grew by 0.73% from 2021 to 2022, whereas meat consumption grew by 2.9% (with chicken at the top, with 48% of the total consumption). The presenter was asked the justification for this. Well, he gave three reasons:

1.   Better household income due to changing salary policies. From 2022 to 2023, there was a ~20% increase in minimum wages.

2.    Government aid to low-income households, which increased by 12% from 2021 to 2022.

3.    An increase of 13.4% in remittances, particularly from emigrants in the U.S.

So, I was thinking about this because government aid has been highly criticized. But more money means more consumption. Therefore, although higher salaries weigh on companies at the beginning, in the end it pays off.

What do you think? 

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