Dry aging can be defined as the process in which beef carcasses are hung or placed on the rack for 28 to 55 days under controlled conditions to facilitate drying. The process of aging tenders and produces an intensive flavor in the meat. Dry-aged meat is tenderer and provides a more intense and nutty flavor compared to wet-aged meat, which is vacuum-sealed and kept in a controlled environment. Dry-aged beef is not the most popular type of meat sold in the market, primarily due to high aging shrinkage, the risk of contamination, and trim loss. Moreover, the accurate environmental conditions required for aging make the dry-aging process a costly endeavor compared to other conventional processing methods. Additionally, the process also demands the highest grade beef with significant marbling and requires a certain amount of time to produce good quality (28 days). These factors are likely to narrow down the scope of dry-aged beef and hinder the growth of the dry-aging beef market in upcoming years.
|Fastest Growing Market||Asia Pacific|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Currently, the dry aging beef market is in the nascent stage, which is attributable to the limited customer base that is willing to pay the higher prices for superior flavored meat. Moreover, the aging parameters and microbiology of dry-aged beef remain less explored areas. Prominent market players are still working on the adoption of techniques that can re-invent the traditional dry-aged beef processing. For instance, TUB-EX Aps’ Tublin 10 is a packaging film with lower permeation that can help in achieving flavors equivalent to traditional dry-aging in a shorter duration of time.
The improving standard of living owing to rising disposable income has shifted the consumer preference toward unique and premium flavored products. Dry-aged beef has low moisture and high protein content than wet-aged beef, which makes the former the more preferred option among individuals who meet their protein needs by consuming beef.
The global dry-aging beef market has been witnessing significant growth in the last few decades. The consumption of beef products is proportional to livestock production, living standards, consumer income, eating habits, and macroeconomic uncertainty. Additionally, increasing awareness regarding the advantages of consuming meat is further expected to surge the demand for meat products in the upcoming years. However, the rising number of educational groups with a preference for vegan food is expected to hamper the market growth in the upcoming years to an extent.
North America dominated the global dry aging beef market in 2019 and is expected to retain its market position throughout the forecast period. The high nutritional value of dry-aged beef, changing consumer eating habits, and the rising demand for premium food drive market growth in the region.
Country-wise, the U.S. is expected to spearhead the North America dry aging beef market during the forecast, led by the upward trend in the consumption of all types of meat in the last few years on account of the improved supply chain from Latin America and the expanding meat industry in the U.S. As per the North American Meat Institute, in 2017, American meat companies produced around 26.3 billion pounds’ beef, marking a 7.2% increase over 2014.
Figure 1: U.S. Beef Production, 2000–2018
Rising population and improving purchasing power drive the Asia-Pacific dry aging beef market. The increasing demand for animal-source protein in the developing economies of Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia is expected to augment the market value in upcoming years. As per the Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, the demand for red meat across developing economies is anticipated to be double by 2050.
Country-wise, the regional market is led by China, which is the fourth-largest producer of beef around the world. China is also a significant beef consumer, and the demand for beef is rapidly rising in the country. Population growth, rapid urbanization, economic progress, and changing consumer preferences drive market growth in the country.
On the flip side, the decline in the consumption of beef across various countries in the region on account of the rising preference for chicken and pork and the rising trend of veganism is expected to somewhat hamper the market growth. As per the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), beef consumption in Australia decreased by about 50% in the last two decades.
By product, the prime aging beef market has been categorized into prime beef, Wagyu beef, choice beef, and others. The prime beef segment held the largest market share in 2019 and is expected to dominate the market throughout the forecast period. Prime beef is often obtained from younger cattle and is tenderer and better tasting, owing to which it is mostly served at restaurants, upscale grocery stores, and gourmet steak companies.
Although Wagyu beef is more marbled and tenderer than prime, the fat present in Wagyu meat is not good for health. Furthermore, Wagyu beef, being a Japanese breed, is twice as expensive as prime. The considerable price difference and presence of excessive fat drive the consumption of prime beef over Wagyu beef.
In the last two decades, there has been a shift in consumer eating habits and lifestyle. Today, the working-class population is shifting away from home consumption. And as health concerns have heightened, individuals are willing to spend more on premium foods with essential nutrients. The growing population and improving disposable income are expected to drive consumption, particularly as beef a key protein source. The beef industry took a major hit in 2015, with a decline in prices due to the halt of meat export from key suppliers such as the Americas, India, and Australia. But it is expected to gain traction in the coming years, with economic growth boosting demand. Moreover, the expansion of animal husbandry in key producing areas is likely to bring down bovine meat prices by 2020, which could further shift consumers toward bovine meat as a cheap source of protein.