Ease of Preparation, Premium Products to Drive Value Gains for Manufactured Food


Cleveland, OH, February 23, 2021 — US demand for manufactured food is forecast to grow 1.4% annually in nominal terms through 2024, according to Food Processing: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. The market for manufactured food will expand as real disposable income per capita advances 0.4% annually during that period. In addition, consumers will pay a premium for products that require little or no preparation and are considered healthy or natural. Therefore, purchasing of higher-value foods is expected to support demand growth. However, the maturity of the market, declines in real disposable income in 2021, and falling meat and chicken prices will restrain faster gains.

Demand for meat, poultry, and seafood products is forecast to expand 2.1% annually through 2024, remaining the leading product segment. While meat consumption per capita has fallen over the last four decades, stagnant beef prices and falling chicken prices will support small additional gains in volumes of meat consumption. Demand will also be boosted by purchases of more expensive cuts of meat, bolstered by demand for high-quality meat while dining out, more environmentally friendly meat (e.g., grass-fed, free range, organic, no antibiotics or hormones used during production), and value-added meat products (e.g., pre-marinated or seasoned meat). Rising competition from vegetable-based meat-like alternatives is expected to restrain faster gains. Competition from meatless products is also set to intensify over the forecast period due to consumer concerns about their health, animal welfare, and the environmental impact of meat production.

These and other key insights are featured in Food Processing: United States. This report provides an estimate of 2020 and forecast to 2024 for manufactured food demand and shipments for both employer and non-employer firms in nominal US dollars at the manufacturer level. Total demand is segmented by product in terms of:

  • meat, poultry, and seafood
  • dairy products
  • grains and oilseeds
  • bakery and related products
  • processed fruits and vegetables
  • animal food
  • sugar and confectionary products
  • other manufactured foods, such as condiments and sauces, dry coffee and tea, egg substitutes, frozen specialty foods, peanut butter, roasted nuts, and spices

To illustrate historical trends, total demand, total shipments, the various segments, and trade are provided in annual series from 2009 to 2019.

Excluded from the scope of this report are ready-to-drink beverages such as bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, and fluid milk; beverage syrups; and unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs. Also excluded are flavoring syrups and concentrates for the production of soft drinks. Cotton linters are also excluded. Inedible byproducts of animal slaughtering, such as bones and hides, are not included in demand or shipment totals for meat, poultry, and seafood products. Re-exports of manufactured food are excluded from demand and trade figures.

More information about the report is available at: