A recent survey by marketing analytics company Canalys found that Canada’s meat market is among the country’s most valuable, with sales valued at $2.9 billion.
While that’s a hefty chunk of the country, it’s not enough to make Canada the most lucrative meat market in the world.
Canada ranks 27th in the World’s 50 Best Meat Markets ranking, behind only Brazil and Australia.
Canalys’ 2015 survey found that Canadians have the most value for their money when it comes to meat at just $7.50 per pound.
That’s far less than the $19.96 per pound for China and $21.48 per pound that is typically seen in the United States.
Still, the number of Canadians buying the most expensive meats in the country at $15 per pound is not insignificant.
“We know that the meat market has grown enormously since 2014, and that’s driven the premium that Canadians are willing to pay,” said Michael Dickey, Canalys CEO.
“But there are still areas of the meat industry that we would like to see improved.”
According to the company, the vast majority of Canadians spend more on meat than they do on other items, which includes meat, fish and dairy.
“The market value of the entire Canadian meat industry is $3.9 trillion, meaning that 70 per cent of Canadians are spending over $4,000 per year on their food,” Dickey said.
“That’s a huge amount of money that Canadians spend on their meals.”
Canalys used data from 2014 to estimate the meat value of all the provinces and territories.
The number of Canadian households buying meat is not surprising given the country has the highest per capita consumption of any major Western country, according to a 2015 study by the University of British Columbia.
Canada is the second-largest meat exporter in the developed world, and it accounts for just under two per cent.
But it is not alone when it come to the value of meat.
“Canada is one of the most important meat exporters in the Western world, but we don’t even rank in the top 20 in terms of the volume of meat we import,” Dickson said.
Canada imported 1.2 million tonnes of beef last year.
While some of that meat came from other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia, the majority of Canada’s beef came from Canada.
And that means that the price tag for Canadian meat is actually very high.
According to Canalys, the average Canadian meathouse spends an average of $2,814 on food per year.
“Canadian beef has the largest price premium in the meat trade, with the average price per pound being $3,958,” Dicey said.
According, the Canadian food and beverage industry is expected to account for up to $2 trillion in revenue by 2020.
Diceys prediction for 2020: “This is the meat that is going to drive the economy of the next 20 years.”
And that will be with a beef price of $6,500 per pound, up from the current price of around $3 per pound due to the global beef price increase.
“As the demand for beef continues to grow, there will be more and more demand for Canadian beef and more and better quality beef, and we’re going to see that continue,” Dikeys prediction.
“If we have that beef that’s good enough, the price will continue to go up and the industry will continue.”
That will mean Canadians buying more beef in the future, but they will need to buy it at a more reasonable price than they currently do.
Canada’s current beef prices include the government’s tax-free purchase threshold for meat.
Currently, that is $11.50.
Dikey said the government is looking to introduce a new meat price cap that will allow Canadians to buy meat from $9 to $15.
“This will allow people to buy beef at that price point and have a higher price in their pocket.”
While that price increase will be in place for the next two years, it will only apply to beef purchased from Canadian producers.
According the Canalys survey, only about one-quarter of Canadians will buy beef from a Canadian producer, with another quarter purchasing meat from other parts of the world such as Mexico, China, India, and Brazil.
That is a number that will need an increase in the government to help Canadians buy their beef, Dicellys prediction said.
The Canalys report is just one of many that has highlighted the need for Canadian governments to improve the quality of meat they import.
In a recent report by the World Resources Institute, the organization found that beef exports are down by half since the 1970s, and are projected to be down even further by 2020, according the World Bank.
“In the past, the government has been doing what we’ve called the supply side of supply management,” said Richard Kibby, the WRI’s senior vice-president