The popularity of vegetables and plant-based meat substitutes has increased so much that it is having an impact on meat consumption in Finland, according to Pellervo Economic Research (PTT). (Anni Reenpää – Lehtikuva)


FOOD PRICES in Finland will rise by 1.0 per cent in 2019 and 1.4 per cent in 2020, predicts Pellervo Economic Research (PTT).

PTT on Tuesday pointed out that meat products are moving against the general trend as their consumer prices are expected to jump by up to four per cent this year, partly due to bottled-up pressure among meat producers to raise prices.

The other main reason for the expected increase is an up-tick in meat exports.

Finnish food exports across product categories are projected to increase substantially this year and return to the record-high levels from a few years ago.

The demand for dairy products, such as butter, cheese and yogurt, has increased particularly. The EU-Japan free trade agreement has been one of the main drivers, leading to – for example – a multifold increase in cheese exports to Japan. Pork has similarly been in high demand overseas following the recent outbreaks of African swine fewer in Asia.

In Finland, the increase in meat prices is expected to accelerate the decline in meat consumption.

PTT on Tuesday reported that overall meat consumption has already begun to decrease. The consumption of pork has decreased for several years, but this year also that of beef has taken a tumble. The Finnish meat market is in for yet another dramatic change, as the consumption of poultry is set to come to a stop in 2019.

The developments are partly a consequence of the growing health and environmental awareness of Finnish consumers, according to PTT. The consumption of vegetables and plant-based meat substitutes, in fact, has increased so rapidly that it is partly responsible for the decrease in meat consumption.

Dairy products, similarly, are not flying off the shelves at their previous rate. With the consumption of dairy dropping across product categories, it is also having an effect on milk production: the number of dairy producers is expected to continue declining this year, after falling exceptionally sharply last year.

PTT also viewed that the notable swings in fruit and vegetable prices have been the primary reason for changes in food prices in 2018–2019. The prices have recently started to drop due to the favourable growth conditions this year.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi