27% increase in production in ten years

Saint-Hyacinthe – Chicken production in Quebec has increased by 27% in ten years. The increase was “quite remarkable,” said Richelle Fortin, the new general director of the Élvres de Poultry du Québec (EVQ), director of economic affairs, during the organization’s annual general meeting, which was held April 2 and 3 in St. . water hyacinth.

This growth was 5.4% between 2022 and 2023. This involves chicken production for both domestic and export markets.

Population growth is one of the main explanations for this increase, but the price of other competitive meats has also worked in chicken’s favor, Ms Fortin underlined. According to Nielsen data on supermarket sales, more consumers are buying pork and chicken meat, which are more affordable than beef, the price of which has risen sharply in recent years.

hunger for thighs

More difficult economic conditions have also changed consumption habits in relation to various chicken products, while sales of breasts have increased significantly compared to thighs, which are priced higher. According to EVQ, the growth of the immigrant population in the country, which is fond of dark meat, would be another factor explaining this phenomenon. This situation is reflected in the prices of breasts and thighs, under the influence of supply and demand.

Additionally, according to the latest cumulative data from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, total chicken stocks in warehouses are accumulating at levels higher than average in recent years. It is particularly the breast and wing product categories and those known as “additional processing” that show growth of up to 30% a year, “equivalent to 8 million kilograms of chicken”, Ms Fortin illustrated. .

Canadian chicken farmers are currently evaluating the possibility of slowing production growth and encouraging the use of inventory to return to more “acceptable” levels in warehouses to supply the Canadian market, he said.

Turkey sales boom

The modest increase in the price of turkey (1.2%) between 2022 and 2023 reflects a nearly 26% increase in sales of this meat over the same period, a very rare occurrence in Quebec, said Richelle Fortin, director of economic affairs. EVQ. In fact, for many years, turkey meat has struggled to rise among other types of protein offered in grocery stores. Across Canada, Quebec is the only province to see such an increase in sales in 2023, according to Nielsen grocery sales data, while sales elsewhere in the country remained flat.

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