Domestic Economy
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Iranian Processed Meat Industry Dominates Region

Domestic Economy Desk
Demand for processed meat products in Iran stands at 450,000-500,000 tons per year, 95% of which are met domestically while the remaining is imported
Iran’s per capita processed meat consumption of 5-5.5 kg per year is low compared to many other countries.Iran’s per capita processed meat consumption of 5-5.5 kg per year is low compared to many other countries.

The production of processed meat in Iran dates back to 90 years when no other country in the Middle East had a clue about such products.

Iran has now become the top country in producing processed meat products in the region, both in terms of quality and quantity.

"The technology used in this industry, which was once imported, now meets international health and religious standards," Majid Aflaki, secretary of Processed Meat Industries Association, told Financial Tribune.

"I believe that processed meat products of Iran are in the same league as those produced in countries advanced in this field such as Germany and France," he added.

According to Aflaki, demand in Iran stands at 450,000-500,000 tons per year, 95% of which are met domestically while the remaining is imported through border markets and illegal channels.

A majority of imports are Turkish brands.

Iran produces over 70 types of processed meat products, including sausages, hamburgers, chicken and meat nuggets. More varied types have been introduced in the market in recent years such as vegetable sausages as well as products made with meat of turkey and ostrich.

Iran's per capita processed meat consumption of 5-5.5 kg per year is low compared to many other countries. In many European countries, the rate exceeds 50 kg.

Aflaki noted that there are over 150 production units in Iran with a combined capacity of 1 million tons per year, employing 10,000 people.

The provinces of Qom, Isfahan, Fars, Alborz, Azarbaijan, Mazandaran and Tehran are top producers in the country.

Several Iranian companies have embarked on exports to neighboring countries in recent years. Last year (March 2016-17), about 4,500 tons of Iranian meat products were exported. The same amount is predicted for the current year (ending March 20, 2018) as well.

Mehdi Karimi Tafreshi, the head of the board of directors at Iran’s Food Producers Cooperatives, said Azerbaijan, Armenia, North African countries, Afghanistan, and a few European countries are customers of Iranian processed meat products.

According to a report by Zion Market Research, the global processed meat market was valued at $714 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach approximately $1.56 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate of around 14% between 2017 and 2022.

Processed meat is expected to exhibit high gains in light of increasing demand for processed meat, coupled with increasing disposable income in emerging countries.

Moreover, rising consumer awareness regarding animal protein-rich diet and the large varieties of processed meat available in the market at lower prices are also expected to boost the demand for processed meat. However, health awareness regarding processed meat consumption due to its side effects may curb the market growth. Nonetheless, meat consumption in developing countries is continuously increasing.   

According to an industry player, the processed meat industry in Iran has a turnover of 60 trillion rials ($1.42 billion).

 

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