As alternatives to beef rise in the U.S., demand for beef is surging elsewhere

With global demand for the meat looking broader than ever, that's good news for Minnesota's food companies and ranchers.


By Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune (MN) 

April 13, 2019


Exploding interest in “meatless Mondays” and plant-based foods on restaurant menus and at grocery stores suggest trouble for the beef industry. But, for now, that’s only in the United States.


Elsewhere, beef is surging in popularity and global demand for the meat is looking broader than ever, which is good news for Minnesota’s food companies and ranchers.


“Beef consumption globally has increased,” said Pat Binger, head of international exports for Cargill, the Minnetonka-based agriculture giant that is one of the world’s top processors of beef.


“Really, it’s about people moving into the middle class,” he said. “There’s more money in more pockets and, historically, we have seen a correlation between incomes going up and protein consumption levels going up.”


A new report from Grand View Research shows those rates continuing to rise, led by China. The global beef market is expected to grow 20% over the next six years to surpass $383 billion, the firm forecasts.


Cattle raised for slaughter require more land and water than for many other types of food, and many groups worry about the toll higher global beef consumption could have on the environment.


“If the global population is going to grow to about 10 billion by 2050, we have to ask ourselves what are the resource implications under business-as-usual growth rates and what kind of things do we need to consider for how we use our resources,” said Richard Waite, a research associate for the World Resources Institute’s food program.


China ‘the game-changer’ ...


Beef alternatives rise in U.S. ... 


more, including beef consumption map