Chas­ing con­sumer trends

Four trends pro­vid­ing new mar­kets for beef

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News - CAS­SAN­DRA GLOVER Cas­san­[email protected]­ral­

CHANGES in the way the pop­u­la­tion is con­sum­ing food could shape the fu­ture of the beef in­dus­try.

At the Young Beef Pro­duc­ers Fo­rum last week, An­gus Gi­d­ley-Baird, from Rabobank, high­lighted four key trends that could pro­vide new op­por­tu­ni­ties for the red meat in­dus­try.

Mr Gidely-Baird said meat con­sump­tion would con­tinue to in­crease.

“We’ve just re­leased our an­i­mal pro­tein out­look for next year and we ex­pect to­tal pro­tein pro­duc­tion in the world to grow again by a mil­lion tonnes,” he said.

“So we con­tinue to pro­duce more and peo­ple con­tinue to con­sume more.”

The four trends Mr Gi­d­leyBaird said would be key to fu­ture red meat con­sump­tion were eat­ing out, meal kits, buy­ing on­line, and di­rect to con­sumer.


PEO­PLE are not eat­ing at home as much as they used to.

Mr Gi­d­ley-Baird said in the past seven years, the amount Aus­tralians spent on food con­sumed out­side the home had grown by 30 per cent.

“We are now spend­ing on av­er­age $80 per per­son out­side the house each week,” he said.

“Those be­tween 18-35 are spend­ing even more out­side the house each week, more like $100.

“So while the Aus­tralian pop­u­la­tion is in­creas­ing at 30 per cent. The mil­len­nial pop­u­la­tion is in­creas­ing at about 36-38 per cent.”

In 2014, the United States reached the tip­ping point where they be­gan spend­ing more on food out­side the home than food con­sumed at home.

“There’s a big fast food in­dus­try over in the US and it’s chang­ing the way they’re con­sum­ing food,” Mr Gi­d­leyBaird said.

“They’re no longer sit­ting down for a steak and three veg. They’re need­ing some­thing more mo­bile.

“You can see the same trends de­vel­op­ing in China. It’s taken a bit longer to get there. In the late 1990s you can start to see that in­crease in food ex­pen­di­ture out­side the home.”


THERE are nu­mer­ous com­pa­nies such as Hello Fresh which are pro­vid­ing meal kits to make it eas­ier for those who do choose to eat at home.

“The con­sumer doesn’t have to go into the su­per­mar­ket and fig­ure out what they need to buy, it’s all there for them,” Mr Gi­d­leyBaird said.

“I think this is a great op­por­tu­nity from an an­i­mal pro­tein point of view be­cause not only do we have the op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to have their set meal and all the in­gre­di­ents there, but you can ac­tu­ally get dif­fer­ent cuts into this.

“For the con­sumer who knows how to cook a beef burger or some sausages, we can ac­tu­ally start to give them some dif­fer­ent cuts within these pack­ages with the other in­gre­di­ents.

“We can tell them how to cook it, and we can ac­tu­ally sell more of the car­cass.”


AC­CORD­ING to Mr Gi­d­leyBaird, on­line gro­cery sales have in­creased 23 per cent in the past 12 months, grow­ing faster than any other gro­cery sales.

“You’re start­ing to see con­sumers a lit­tle bit more con­fi­dent now of buy­ing gro­ceries on­line,” Mr Gi­d­leyBaird said.

“Ama­zon bought Whole­foods last year, it’s one of the big­gest on­line re­tail plat­forms in the world. It was the in­di­ca­tion they were go­ing to get into gro­cery sales.

“In Aus­tralia they’re look­ing at how they can in­crease that plat­form.

“Alibaba and are two on­line plat­forms in China. They’re try­ing to get into on­line gro­cery sales as well.

“If you go to and search Aussie beef in there, you will find that there is Aus­tralian beef be­ing sold right now on­line in China.

“It’s a plat­form be­ing used by pro­ces­sors and in­dus­try here to sell beef di­rectly to con­sumers in China.”

Mr Gi­d­ley-Baird said mo­bile sales were also chang­ing the game for on­line pur­chases.

“It’s not sit­ting down on your com­puter and buy­ing some­thing on­line, now peo­ple are pulling out their phone and buy­ing things on their phone.

“This is a huge in­dus­try in China. They use it as a big plat­form for a lot of their pur­chases. Last year in China,

81 tril­lion Chi­nese yuan in pur­chases were made over a mo­bile phone.

“Which I think is about

$16 tril­lion Aus­tralian.” Mr Gi­d­ley-Baird said ear­lier in the year, he and a Chi­nese col­league sent a boat­load of north­ern Aus­tralian cat­tle over to China in the live ex­port trade.

“I asked her, ‘How do you deal with a boat­load of cat­tle that turns up? You didn’t have them the week be­fore or the month be­fore. They turn up, they have to go through the strict pro­to­col, they’ve got to be slaugh­tered be­fore a cer­tain time frame and they can’t be fed. How do you get that out into the con­sumer mar­ket?’

“And she said, ‘We just use WeChat’. They don’t have a re­tail out­let for this beef, they use WeChat.

“The com­pany that was slaugh­ter­ing the an­i­mals sim­ply posted a note on their WeChat chan­nel within a de­fined geo­graph­i­cal area say­ing all these things are avail­able and if you want them you can buy them.

“So ef­fec­tively they went from Aus­tralia via boat, to China, were slaugh­tered, and to the con­sumer.”


MORE and more peo­ple are find­ing ways to get their meat di­rect from the pro­duc­ers.

“There is a group called Crowd Cow. The ba­sic con­cept is you log in, find what you want, and once they get to an amount that equals a whole beast, they source that beast di­rect from the pro­ducer, slaugh­ter it and that then gets de­liv­ered out,” Mr Gi­d­ley-Baird said.

“It’s not go­ing through the tra­di­tional re­tail chain to get to you, it’s go­ing di­rect to con­sumer, and the con­sumer can speak to the pro­ducer.

“I think this is some­thing we can cap­i­talise on as the next gen­er­a­tion of beef pro­duc­ers, be­cause the con­sumer is go­ing out and look­ing for this, and it’s about how you sell that back to them.”

Mr Gi­d­ley-Baird said the mo­bile abat­toirs be­ing rolled out would also help join the dots be­tween con­sumer and pro­ducer.

❝ We can ac­tu­ally sell more of the car­cass.

— An­gus Gi­d­ley-Baird


NEW OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES: An­gus Gi­d­ley-Baird, from Rabobank, spoke about chang­ing con­sumer trends at the Young Beef Pro­duc­ers Fo­rum.


An­gus Gi­d­ley-Baird.

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