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Mar, 2021     

Where is the online meat market headed?

Meat market is expected to become $80-85 Bn by 2024 and is up for disruption by branded players


While online shopping started just as a leisure activity, today it has become more of a convenience. With the strike of the pandemic, the adoption of online has accelerated making it more of a necessity for daily lives. Apart from just shopping groceries online, super verticals are also seeing high demand now wherein buying online meat is one among them. A number of players have now started catering to this niche yet vast market and millions are also being invested in the emerging space. Here are a few insights that shows the vast growth of this market.

1. Indian meat market is fairly nascent and has a large growth headroom

Note(s): 1. Source : OECD Meat Consumption Data . Excludes seafood(chicken, pork, teal ,beef included)

Key Highlights-

Consumption Frequency

  • While ~70% of Indians are non-vegetarians, per-capita meat consumption is still 3.6 kg, way behind even developing economies, due to cultural factors
  • Currently 90% of meat-eaters have mentioned meat to be an integral part of their diet with consumption frequency becoming more regular through the week

Change in outlook among the younger population

  • Young population, especially millennials, have shown increasing inclination towards meat eating
  • This change is driven largely by more of them leaving hometowns to study/work in larger cities, thereby, having higher exposure to dining out and online food delivery services

Protein and dietary requirements

  • Indian consumers are increasingly focusing on health and physique with protein becoming a key element in their diets. This has led to higher demand for meat and eggs, especially in the metros

2. Meat market is expected to become $80-85 Bn by 2024 and is up for disruption by branded players

Indian overall meat market USD Bn, 2015, 2019, 2024F

Note(s): 1. Meat market includes fish (freshwater and seafood), poultry (bird meat, ex-eggs), mutton (goat & lamb meat), pork, and beef 2. Includes only consumption market (excludes exports)

The Indian meat market is still highly unorganized, largely unbranded and dominated by local butcher shops. This is due to factors like

  • High costs associated with cold-chain infrastructure
  • Consumers preferring to buy from local butchers due to habit and familiarity 

However, as was the case with other food categories like dairy, with branded players coming in with integrated value chains, wide assortment, quality assurance and convenience, there has been significant change in how meat is perceived. As a result, consumers increasingly prefer branded meat. With more innovation coming in and significant investment in technology, this sector is ripe for further disruption.

3. During Covid, consumption of online branded meat increased

Change in meat consumption at home, % respondents, Overall, N = 211

Since Covid, customers increasingly preferred purchasing meat online. This was driven by the assurance of safety and hygiene, availability of various products under one umbrella, doorstep service provided by online meat providers.

4. This led to 2x growth in the players’ GMV

Online branded meat GMV trend since COVID Indexed, Jan ’20 – Dec ‘20, where Jan ‘20 GMV = 100

With demand surging, the online meat players quickly ramped-up supply capabilities to serve the consumer needs and delight them. As they gained the consumers’ trust, sales jumped significantly. This trend is likely to intensify further and that makes India’s online meat delivery market a very interesting one.