Canadians, big meat eaters before the Lord, are turning to other options to get their protein fix due to inflation.
According to a recent Ipsos survey, approximately half (47%) of participants who eat meat said they intend to reduce their meat consumption this year, mainly to reduce their grocery bill.
As Kathy Perrotta, vice-president of strategy and market insight at Ipsos, points out, since the company began surveying Canadians about their meat consumption habits in 2018, a proportion of them have intended to reduce their beef purchases, chicken and similar products increased by 25%.
And the reasons given for doing so have varied over time. In 2021 and 2022, says Ms. Perrotta,
health and environmental concerns were the main reasons given to explain this decrease.
But last year, the cost of meat became the main reason. Which isn’t too surprising given the pressure on budgets these days, linked to rising interest rates and food prices.
Still according to Dona Perrotta, these factors could mean that we reach a
inflection point where the vegetarian and vegan movement will see a resurgence, as it has during the pandemic, where substitutes for meat burgers such as Beyond meat AND Impossible Burgeraroused widespread interest.
For food economist Mike von Massow, it is not surprising that consumers are changing their eating habits due to high prices.
I believe people shop differentlyestimates the one linked to the University of Guelph.
I also believe that people eat out less often than they used to.
For Kathy Perrotta, this change in habits does not mean that people have stopped eating meat. But they simply consume less, she says.
Despite this, Professor von Massow states that, although other factors were undoubtedly at play, over the past year,
there has been a slight increase in the number of people who define themselves as vegetarian or vegan.
Still, according to the researcher, how Canadians adapt to the higher cost of protein foods will depend on each individual’s circumstances, including their confidence in their cooking skills.
Some people may adapt by cooking more or trying new ingredients, while others will find it more difficult.
Local shopping and drought
Zach Vanthournout, who runs a small cattle farm in Fredericton Junction, New Brunswick, says he noticed a drop in sales, even though consumers could save money by buying directly from the breeder.
I’d like to know why people don’t buy local, he said. If you come to us directly, ribs cost about $16 a pound. In the supermarket it costs US$40 a kilo and I don’t understand what is happening.
Vanthournout suggests consumers search online to find a breeder near them and team up with another family to purchase larger cuts of meat.
As noted by Brenna Grant, executive director of Canfax and Canfax Research Services, the market research arm of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, beef prices have been pressured by a drought in Canada in 2021, and another in the United States in 2022, which reduced supply.
These events, she says, led breeders to sell animals and survive with smaller herds.
According to Ms. Grant, the general trend in the food and beverage industry is to buy fewer products than before.
With information from CBC News