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New Zealanders eating less red meat: Survey

By Ankush Chibber , 03-Jul-2012
Last updated on 04-Jul-2012 at 09:32 GMT2012-07-04T09:32:57Z

New Zelanders are eating less meat than a decade ago, a new research report found, but are still eating on par with other major meat-eating nations.

According to the Roy Morgan Research’s 'State of the Nation' Report, 47% of New Zealanders agree that they are eating less red meat these days, down from 53% a decade ago.

These findings are based on Roy Morgan Research Single Source — a New Zealand-wide survey of approximately 11,500 New Zealanders annually, the research firm indicated.

Pip Elliott, Head of Roy Morgan Research New Zealand, said that the findings also reveal that attitudes are not the same throughout the New Zealand population about red meat.

“Women are much more concerned than men about what goes into the food and also less likely to be eating red meat. There is also much more concern among those over fifty regarding these food issues compared to those under 25,” he said.

The top industry body for the beef and lamb manufacturing industry in New Zealand agreed in part with the findings.

Industry confident

Kim Doran, communications manager at Beef + Lamb NZ told FoodNavigator-Asia that New Zealanders are definitely eating smaller serving sizes of beef and lamb than a decade ago.

“But the number of meal occasions per week has remained fairly static,” she said,

“Key to maintaining demand is ensuring consumers remain aware of the role beef and lamb play in a healthy lifestyle, as well as the quality and animal welfare standards of our product."

Katherine Rich, chief executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council, told FoodNavigator-Asia that the survey asked people what their perception is of what they think they are doing vis-à-vis meat consumption, rather than being a measure of what they are actually doing.

“New Zealanders are eating less red meat within a daily diet, but this needs to be put into the context of significant consumption,” she said.

“Only a few generations ago it was common place for some New Zealanders to eat red meat at least twice a day and some, if they started with a breakfast of bacon and eggs, even with every meal. Eating meat three times a day is pretty much unheard of now,” she added.

Peer wise okay

Rich said that within an international context, red meat consumption in New Zealand is still high.

“Indonesia's meat consumption as a per capita figure is 4.9kg per person compared to the US figure of 122.79kg per person.  Japan has 43kg per capita,” she said, adding that NZ per capita meat consumption (approx 116kg) is on par with the US.

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