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1.1 Definition and scope of the study

The poultry market refers to poultry breeding. Poultry is a pet bird belonging to the gallinaceous or palmiped species, which is reared for its flesh and/or eggs. This study will focus on industrial and local poultry farming, and its distribution. The term includes all the backyard birds which are the subject of poultry farming, and in particular the following animals:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Geese

The global poultry market has undergone large structural shifts. What was once a micro-scale farming activity has transformed into mass production in large warehouses all around the world, with machinery to optimize processes. Although production and distribution today are mainly carried out through the latter, consumers in many countries have gone back to the idea of micro-farming and are inclined to purchase free-ranging chicken from smaller farms. The main reason for this change is the will to reduce the ecological footprint, but this means of production is also associated with healthier birds and hence better meat.

Moreover, the global market is expected to expand; in 2015, 111,000 thousand metric tons were produced, a number which is expected to grow by 24% over the next decades reaching 131,255 thousand metric tons in 2025. In particular, Asia currently holds the largest market size globally, and will certainly be responsible for the future growth. This is mainly due to the size of the continent.

In the UK, poultry production increased by 10% between 2014 and 2019. Moreover, poultry is the most consumed sub-segment of meat, and in 2019, it accounted for more than 50% of volumes sold. In other words, the poultry industry in the UK is a significant segment of the food industry.

In the next years, it is likely that the poultry market will expand even more, given societal trends about health and the reluctance to consuming red meat. Indeed, chicken is viewed as relatively healthy, and it is also affordable. Consumers between the age of 30 to 49 spend the most per week on poultry. [ONS]

The poultry market in the United Kingdom is highly fragmented with a large number of players. Moreover, it is dependent on imports to meet internal demand.






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chargé d'études économiques, Xerfi

Hugo Schott

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Mathieu Luinaud

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Pierre Doussau

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