JAPAN, Tokyo. Japan’s meat consumption broke new records in the 2016 fiscal year (April 2015 to March 2016) according to recent data, with projected year-onyear growth set to be the fastest in five years.
Statistics released from the Japan’s Agriculture & Livestock Industries Corporation (Alic) have indicated that Japanese consumers ate 4.75 mill. t of chicken, beef and pork combined during this period. That was a rise of 3.4% on the previous year, delivering a 10th consecutive year of gains.
Industry experts agree that Japan’s appetite for meat shows no sign of waning.
Consumption of chicken in the home, which accounts for 40% of total consumption of this meat in Japan, is growing most rapidly, according to Alic data. In 2016, it rose to 5.428 kg per capita per year, a 2.8% increase on 2015, which had seen a rise of 3.1% on 2014. Although pork remains the most popular meat in Japan, with 6.826 kg per person per year consumed at home in 2016, its growth rate has been slower – at 1.7% and 1.1% respectively over the past two years.
For the second year in a row, fewer people are eating beef at home, with home-based consumption down 3.6% during 2016 year-on-year. But temporary spikes in beef sales for home use have been pronounced in 2016 during key seasonal events.
Data also showed increased home consumption of chicken and pork at the year-end as well as during October – popular for outdoor community events to which people bring meaty lunchboxes, and March – a time of dinner parties to mark graduation, farewells and entry into jobs at companies.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) and the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) have estimated that Japan’s pork consumption per capita will increase 2.8% between 2015 and 2024, while poultry meat consumption may rise 1.8%.