Like many middle-income countries, South Africa’s rising incomes have been accompanied by significant increases in per capita meat consumption. Poultry meat, being cheaper than other meats, has accounted for most of the growth, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Per capita poultry consumption more than doubled from 17 kg in 1994-95 to 40 kg in the 2013-14 marketing year. In recent years, beef consumption has also risen, but poultry consumption remains dominant in South Africa, USDA said. Consumption of other meats has remained constant.
South Africa’s real per capita income has maintained almost uninterrupted growth since 2000, only dropping in 2009 with the global recession. USDA said the initial surge in poultry consumption in the early 2000s closely tracks with the rapid rise in per capita income.
“While domestic production of poultry has expanded rapidly to accommodate demand, imports have grown at an even faster rate,” USDA noted.