Beef + Lamb New Zealand unveils new report on shaping the future of the red meat sector

Exporting New Zealand’s food culture to the world, maximising the value from co-products, and increasing the design of marketing for algorithms are among seven recommendations in a new report designed to strengthen New Zealand’s red meat sector.

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A summary of the research and the full report can be downloaded from below: 

The report by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) identifies seven key trends shaping the red meat sector, including a growth in alternative models of health and an explosion of personalised health data, emerging technology driving consumer purchasing decisions, a resistance to industrialised food production and a desire for total transparency.

Shaping the future of New Zealand’s red meat sector outlines seven priorities for the sector to ensure it is positioned to successfully respond to the trends and challenges.

The research recommends the sector continue the push towards food products tied to a unique New Zealand culture. This would mean New Zealand exporting a culture and story around New Zealand food that elevates the value of ingredients and allows the country to capture more value from branded red meat products.

This could include New Zealand identifying unique flavour profiles (regional appellations) much like the wine industry around the world.

The study also urges the sector to capture greater value from co-products to drive profitability and hedge against the rise in meat and co-product alternatives.

Firmly establishing the health credentials of beef and lamb to leverage the growing consumer interest in health and wellbeing, and turning New Zealand’s sustainable red meat story into a unique selling point, are also recommended in the report.

Sam McIvor, Chief Executive of B+LNZ, said global prices for beef and sheepmeat are at record highs and the short to medium term prospects for farmers, processors and the wider industry are strong.

“However, we know nothing in the sector stands still. Within New Zealand, there is an increasing focus on the environment, increased regulation, and challenges to the industry’s social licence to operate. Outside New Zealand, the global population is growing, the climate changing, trade relationships evolving, and technological disruption is accelerating.

“We need to understand the future trends so that B+LNZ, farmers and the wider industry can be prepared and ensure that our strategy and investment decisions made today will position the industry for a successful future.

“What is pleasing is that some of the recommendations from the report are already being implemented and there are some exciting opportunities and projects in the pipeline.”

The seven emerging trends are:

  • Premium diversified: an explosion of different forms and narratives around what premium means.
  • My body my science: the growth in alternative models of health, and explosion of health data.
  • New authorities of choice: how tech and algorithms are disintermediating traditional business to consumer relationships.
  • Rediscovering connections: re-evaluating modernity and taking a greater interest in traditional practices.
  • Stewards of trust: the ongoing desire for ‘total transparency’ in an increasingly low trust world.
  • Re-channelling resources: re-thinking the path to market for our scarce resources.
  • Embracing VUCA: how the new normal—volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity —will shape everything.

The seven priority areas for action to respond to the trends are:

  • Exporting a food culture: continue the push towards value added food products tied to a unique New Zealand culture.
  • Maximise co-products: ensure we get the most possible value from co-products both to drive profitability and hedge against a rise in meat alternatives.
  • Reframing sustainability: taking charge of the sustainability debate by defining our story and telling it more effectively.
  • Driving transparency beyond traceability: using the right tools to make sure our great products can evidence their “greatness”.
  • Own new premium narratives: continue to develop New Zealand’s unique premium attributes and narrative and communicate it to consumers across global markets.
  • Lead the health debate: firmly establish our health credentials and engage with our health “tribes”.
  • Set up systems for collaboration and innovation: to unlock the potential of the sector.
  • B+LNZ commissioned Kantar Singapore and worked with key industry partners to develop the report.

The research will be used to inform B+LNZ’s priorities in the coming years and explore with partners. The findings have already been fed into another major project that B+LNZ is working on with processing companies aimed at identifying potential new pathways to market.


For further information, please contact B+LNZ Senior Communications Advisor Gwynn Compton on 027 838 6353 or B+LNZ Communications Advisor Abigail Delaney on 027 209 9891