Factors affecting households' meat purchase and future meat consumption changes in China: a demand system approach

Haifeng Zhang, Jun Wang, Wayne Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background: China is the world's largest meat market. If consumption of meat in China continues to grow, there will likely be greater business opportunities for meat producers both in and outside of China. As a result, meat exporting countries such as the U.S. may be influenced by changes in meat consumption in China. A better understanding of future meat demand in China will benefit both producers and exporters. The aim of this study was to evaluate factors that affect households' meat purchase and to estimate future meat consumption changes in China. Methods: This study was based on primary data collected from a consumer survey in Guangzhou city in 2014. A total of 617 completed questionnaires were obtained from the consumer survey. An advanced linear approximated almost ideal demand system was used for data analysis. Results: The results indicated that the average household monthly purchase of pork, chicken, beef, and mutton was 2.90 kg, 1.47 kg, 0.77 kg, and 0.33 kg, respectively. Estimated expenditure elasticities for each meat item were 0.78, 1.02, 1.34, and 1.83, respectively. The uncompensated own price elasticities for each corresponding meat item were −0.79, −0.75, −0.70, and −0.25, respectively. The compensated own price elasticities were −0.44, −0.47, −0.46, and −0.14, respectively. High-income households purchased more meat, especially pork, chicken and mutton, than low-income households. Meat consumption pattern will be affected by income changes. Conclusion: Collectively these results suggest that there will be a potential meat market expansion in China, and that pork consumption will increase at a quantity much larger than other meat items in the near future, assuming that consumer income will continue to increase. China's projected increase in meat demand will eventually stimulate greater meat imports, which may have a significant influence on meat exporting countries in the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-32
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ethnic Foods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by China Agriculture Research System ( CARS-35 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Korea Food Research Institute


  • China
  • Elasticities
  • Linear approximated almost ideal demand system
  • Market extension
  • Meat consumption
  • Pork demand


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