EU consumers ate 40.9kg of pigmeat on average in 2015, more than in each of the previous three years, according to AHDB Pork.
After declining between 2011 and 2013, per capita pigmeat consumption has now increased for two years in a row, rising by over a kilo in the last 24 months.
While the overall increase is encouraging, AHDB Pork points out that the latest figures still show “stagnant or declining consumption” in many member states, including Germany, France and the Netherlands.
As for the UK, although consumption here increased slightly to 24.5kg/head in 2015, the country remains among the lowest in the EU, on a per capita basis.
“These figures are calculated as the balance of production, imports and exports, giving the total supplies available for consumption on a carcase weight equivalent basis,” said AHDB Pork, adding that the rising trend contrasts with figures showing declining retail pork sales in most major markets.
“This suggests that a higher proportion of pigmeat is being consumed in foodservice or as processed products, which may fit in better with modern lifestyles. Some may even be used for purposes other than human consumption.
“All these channels generally deliver less value to producers than retail sales of pork, contributing to the recent decline in pig prices.”