India's consumption of animal protein products is poorly understood. It is true that as much as 25% of the population is vegetarian. For those consumers, dairy products and pulses are the primary sources of protein. By contrast, non-vegetarian consumers across the country have preferences which may vary by region, rural versus urban locales, income levels, or more. In urban areas, processed foods are starting to fill supermarket shelves as well, which provide an even greater number of choices for urban consumers. But till now, no study had examined the wider availability and consumer preferences of the general population, including rural populations. This study commissioned by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and conducted by Agriwatch is an explicit attempt to fill that gap in knowledge.
With this study Agriwatch gathered data about the consumption of animal protein products in five southern India states. The study has been conducted in the states of Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam. Included in the scope of the study were consumption of milk, eggs, chicken, sheep meat, goat meat, carabeef (buffalo meat), beef, pork, and both fresh water and salt water fish. Besides quantifying total and per capita consumption of these products in each state, the study also breaks out the rate of growth of consumption, contrasts in rural and urban consumption patterns, and consumption in various income and age groups. The study also examines preferences of meat cuts and value added products, purchase behaviors of people in various states, and how changes in price and income affect consumption. Finally, we have also built a time series of retail prices from 2009 to 2015, which is based on enquiries made with stakeholders in supply chains of various animal protein products.
With this study USDA and Agriwatch seek to fill information gaps about consumer protein consumption across southern India. We hope this information will improve understanding of animal protein consumption in the targeted states. Ultimately we hope it will be useful for businesses and policy makers alike in the effort to make available to consumers the important protein products they need or desire.
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