October 12, 2011
Nepal's frozen meat sales up
Leading supermarkets in the Kathmandu Valley, including Bhat Bhateni, Big Mart and Blue Bird Mart, are experiencing a considerable increment in frozen meat sale.
Traders said that the market for frozen meat items has been swelling by 10-15% annually. With increasing demand, department stores are adding more varieties to their inventory.
Chandra Tiwari, proprietor of Nina & Hager, manufacturer/retailer of frozen meat items said that the market for frozen meat items is surging healthily. He added that due to the prevailing thought that fresh meat items are healthier and tastier than frozen meat, the market has not expanded as expected and with more than two decades of experience in the frozen meat business, more than 60% of the consumers still prefer fresh meat over frozen meat.
According to Tiwari, the company's daily sales of frozen meat and seafood amount to around one tonne. The figure is still low compared to demand. However, they are producing limited items to ensure that volume does not affect their quality and that Kathmandu and Pokhara were the major markets for its products.
Likewise, Big Mart, one of the department stores of the country, has also been witnessing a surge in demand for frozen meat. "When we started, sales were not good enough. But with the passage of time, more people are going for them," said Antim Ranjit, marketing and branding manager of Mega Mart, the company which operates Big Mart department stores at City Centre, Kamal Pokhari and Lazimpat. Ranjit attributes the upturn in sales to a rise in the number health conscious people, the trend of imitating Western lifestyles, an increase in the number of nuclear families and people's getting less leisure time.
The department store deals in 80-90 varieties of frozen meat and seafood. Among them, chicken, buff and pork sausage, chicken breast, chicken wings, drumstick, chicken and mutton mince and pork meat are more popular among Nepalis, said Ranjit. He added that seafood is more popular among foreigners.
Ranjit said that even though the market is flourishing, there is a huge gap between people who prefer fresh and frozen meats. However, the idea is changing slowly. While people making frequent foreign visits and those who are health conscious have made frozen meat their priority, others are also giving it a try.