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Casings Sector Boosted by Emerging Markets Protein Demand

28 May 2013
BordBia

GLOBAL - The on-going westernisation of emerging markets means increased opportunities for meat manufacturers, writes Peter Duggan from the Strategic Information Services of Bord Bia-Irish Food Board.

Consumers are looking to move away from starch based diets to more protein based diets. As these consumers change habits, the cheapest way to introduce protein to their diet is through products like sausages.

Earlier this year, Viscofan, one of the world’s biggest casings manufacturers, opened a new factory in China. Here, cattle and pig hides are processed into artificial collagen casings and sold to sausage manufacturers across China and the rest of Asia.

China is now the world’s biggest purchaser of collagen casings for use in sausage.

According to the chief executive of Devro, Peter Page, China will represent half of the global market for edible collagen casings by 2015. Although, with no official data to hand, industry leaders say the natural casings market is about twice the size of the market for artificial casings.

However, making sausages with artificial casings is cheaper than with natural casings because of ease of use in manufacture combined with lower labour requirements.

Viscofan estimates that the global artificial casings market grew by six per cent between 2011 and 2012. This increase in demand has helped buffer risings costs of cattle and pig hides over the past year.

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