This was the message from Christopher Langholz, group president for Cargill Poultry Group, who was one of the key speakers at this year’s Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in the European Union annual conference, which took place this year in Helsinki, Finland.
Citing data from the United Nations (UN), Langholz said the world population would reach 9.8 billion people by 2050, with Asia adding 750 million (m).
Further highlighting the potential in Asia, he pointed out that nine of the top 15 megacities (defined by having a population of 10m or more) are located on the continent. And with more people leaving rural towns for the bigger cities, this was only forecast to grow, he said.
Rising incomes, rising trade opportunities
While populations are on the rise, so are the social statuses of the citizens. Seventy per cent of the world’s middle-class consumption will come from Asia by 2050, Langholz explained, and 88% of the next billion into the middle class will be in Asia.
This rise in population and increase in disposable income will present many opportunities for exporters. “Asia will account for 60% of global animal protein growth from 2015 to 2025,” said Langholz.
Moving forward, some countries are relying more heavily on poultry imports. Langholz commented: “We believe, and we see evidence of, China giving up on trying to be self-sufficient.”
With a growing interest in poultry, there are also opportunities to tap into the market using other methods.
World-class food systems
“The poultry industry in Asia is going through a very rapid change. This is being driven by consumers who want world-class food systems delivered to them,” said Langholz.
E-commerce sales in China are expected to account for 17% of total retail sales in 2017. By 2020, e-commerce is forecast to contribute one-quarter of retail sales. “E-commerce sales in China are higher than the next six countries combined,” added Langholz.
Catering to these demands, Cargill has launched a speciality brand of chicken targeting a very specific audience. “Our Sun Valley brand is now available directly to consumers on online retail platforms,” Langholz explained. The brand is very niche, targeting females between the ages of 25 and 35 with a high income and living in a specific region.
With a growing population and a growing appetite for poultry, there is an array of opportunities for exporters in Asia, he concluded.