Protein powerhouse: Asia the ‘key protein market’ by 2025 with China and India leading the charge

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

A recent report on global protein consumption has predicted that by 2025 China and India will lean global protein demand with some 50% of total consumption worldwide. ©Getty Images
A recent report on global protein consumption has predicted that by 2025 China and India will lean global protein demand with some 50% of total consumption worldwide. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Asia, Protein, India, China

A recent report on global protein consumption has predicted that by 2025 China and India will lean global protein demand with some 50% of total consumption worldwide.

The report was commissioned by Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), and comprised an in-depth analysis of 50 protein types classified into six protein categories across 11 regional markets, with a granular focus on Australia and Asia.

The six protein categories were: Plant-based, Meat, Eggs & dairy, Wild catch fisheries, Aquaculture and Non-traditional (Insects, Micro-algae and Lab-grown meat).

The researchers conducted analyses on protein supply, demand and future implications.

“Global protein consumption has risen 40% since 2000, with more than half of the increase being driven by Asia,”​ said the researchers.

This growth is expected to continue into 2025, by when China’s protein consumption is anticipated to grow to 70m tonnes up from 57m tonnes in 2018. As a whole, the country will contribute 31% of the total global increase during this period.

Protein consumption in India is expected to reach 38m tonnes in 2025, up from 30m tonnes in 2018, and will contribute 16% as a whole to the global increase.

Together, both countries will likely take up some 47% of the increase in global protein consumption demand by 2025.

“China is a key protein market to focus on: it ranks first globally on both volume and value and [on its own is predicted to] account for 35% of global protein market value in 2025,”​ said the report authors.

“[It is also] projected to be the largest market across all protein categories, except plant-based proteins.”

China also ranks third in terms of value per tonne of protein, which the authors said is due to the high prices of pork and beef in the country.

As a whole, global protein demand is predicted to grow by some 20% from 2018 to 2025.

Japan and Australia trail in numbers, lead in value

Conversely, Japan and Australia ranked last in terms of protein consumption demand amongst all 11 markets, but emerged as the first and second respectively in terms of value per tonne of protein.

In terms of global protein consumption growth, Japan is expected to contribute no more than 0.1% and Australia 0.4%.

In Japan, this could be attributed to a decline in fish consumption​, as predicted by an Asia Research and Engagement (ARE) report published last year.

“[Fish] consumption [in Japan] has steadily declined […] from nearly 70% of total animal protein consumption (including animal-derived products such as dairy and eggs) in the early 1960s to about 38% in 2014,”​ said the report.

Key drivers

The researchers stated population growth to be the key driver of protein demand worldwide since 2000, attributing some 80% of global demand to this.

That said, moving forward a growing consumer middle class, technology and urbanisation rates are expected to replace this.

“[The] rising affluence of the rapidly expanding consuming class is likely to drive another surge in protein demand,” ​said the authors.

“[The] advent of technological breakthroughs is also likely to facilitate major shifts in protein production that were previously unfeasible due to production constraints.”

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