Meat consumption across Europe has taken a battering in the last few years as a result of concerns over the safety of the product linked to BSE and other diseases. But sales have been recovering recently, and in Spain at least, meat consumption is still high, according to a recent survey of household food purchases.
The TNS marketing consultancy recently reported that one in every four euros spent on food in Spain is in fact spent on meat, showing that the Spanish have maintained their faith in the safety of meat and meat products despite all the recent scares.
In fact, TNS' survey shows that the meat sector posted one of the largest increases in consumption during the last year, second only to frozen seafood. But the research also shows that per capita consumption and expenditure was higher for meat than for seafood, and that the meat sector experienced faster growth.
The data clearly shows that the decline in consumption linked to the BSE crisis has been quickly reversed in Spain, although it has yet to return to the pre-crisis levels as a result of a slowdown in the frequency of purchases.
According to TNS' research, the majority of meat products are consumed at lunchtime in Spain (more than 70 per cent) - a different pattern than that for seafood, which is consumed in equal parts at lunch and dinner time.
Although the survey showed that out-of-home consumption had increased considerably during the last year, meat is still a product which is consumed primarily at home and which is bought mainly in convenience stores or specialist butchers or delicatessens.