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Fresh meat consumption in Belgium continues to decrease

The consumption of fresh meat in private households in Belgium decreased by 300 g to 17.2 kg from 2017 to 2018. These are some of the findings reported by the market-research institutes GfK Belgium and iVox on behalf of Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board VLAM. Consumption outside of the home was not taken into consideration. Meat preparations consisting of multiple kinds of meat are the most popular category, accounting for 35.1 percent of the total meat consumption. This category was followed by pork at 32.2 percent, beef at 25.3 percent, veal at 3.3 percent and mutton/lamb at 2.9 percent.

A total of 97 percent of Belgian households reported that they buy meat at least once a year. The main reasons given for meat consumption were flavour, eating habits and nutrition.

Meat still has a high value for Belgian consumers, even if the majority of Belgians strive for a balance between meat dishes and vegetarian meals. A total of 72 percent of Belgians reported that they eat meat once to five times a week, 21 percent eat meat almost daily, and seven percent consume meat either rarely or never. For 61 percent of Belgians, the origin of the meat plays an important role. Furthermore, 70 percent of the people interested in product origin have a strong preference for Belgian meat.

The shopping frequency of the average family fell once again to 39 shopping trips in 2018. Following the same trend, more products are also being purchased during each shopping trip.

A total of 38.6 percent of the fresh meat was purchased in traditional food retail shops (DIS 1), which lost market share to the hard discounters (Aldi and Lidl).

While neighbourhood supermarkets successfully defended their position from the previous year, butcher’s shops gained popularity.

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