Meat Report 2023: meat consumption has dropped further in 2022

October 4, 2023

The total per capita consumption of meat and meat products in the Netherlands in 2022 was 75.0 kg (based on carcass weight), a drop of more than 1 kilogram compared to 2021. It’s the lowest reported consumption figure since 2005. The figure was calculated by Wageningen University & Research on behalf of the animal welfare organisation Wakker Dier.

The drop in meat consumption in 2022 builds on a trend that started after 2019. The figure for 2019 was 77.8 kg, which means current levels are almost 3 kg lower. Beef and poultry in particular are down compared to 2021. Pork consumption has remained at the same level as 2021.

Comparison to Food Consumption Survey (VCP)

This downward trend in meat consumption figures since 2020 mirrors the findings of the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey (Voedselconsumptiepeiling, VCP) conducted by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). With the most recent VCP 2019-2021 having been published in February 2023, it makes sense for this report – Meat consumption per capita in the Netherlands, referred to as the Meat Report 2023 – to draw a comparison with the VCP. There are clear differences between the two, in terms of both their methods and outcomes. But the VCP 2019-2021 and the Meat Report 2023 do both detect a declining trend in meat consumption. Both also indicate that while meat consumption has declined, it still far exceeds the level proposed by the Wheel of Five guidelines.

Impact of inflation

Because this year’s Meat Report is based on the year 2022, it also considers price developments in relation to meat and meat product sales in the retail sector (supermarkets, butchers/poulterers). During the ‘year of inflation’ (2022), the types of meat most affected by inflation (beef and poultry) were those that saw the biggest drop in retail sales. Pork was less affected by inflation in 2022 and retail sales did not decline as much compared to 2021.