Chicken defies meat consumption trends

February 2018: Amid data showing that New Zealanders’ per capita consumption of meat is decreasing, chicken consumption is showing an opposite trend. Between 2006 and 2016, according to the most recent figures from OECD and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports, New Zealanders’ red meat consumption dropped 25kg per capita. Lamb and mutton consumption dropped an astounding 18kg between 2006 and 2016 and the average amount of beef consumed each year dropped by 7kg within the decade.

In 2006, New Zealanders ate 32kg of chicken, 16kg of pork, 17kg of beef and veal and 19kg of lamb and mutton. In 2016, they tucked into about 40kg of chicken each, 18kg of pork, 10kg of beef and veal, and just 1kg of lamb and mutton.    

“The increase in chicken consumption reflects both the affordability of chicken compared to other meats, and its choice by New Zealanders as a preferred source of high-quality protein,” says Michael Brooks, Executive Director of the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand. “Colmar Brunton research as far back as 2011 revealed that chicken was a favourite for the Kiwi dinner table, and the latest data confirms that this is still the case.”