Sales of frozen meat take off with changing tastes

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Sales of frozen meat take off with changing tastes

Jul 9, 2014-

Sales of frozen meat and sea food have risen sharply in Kathmandu reflecting the changing preferences of valley denizens.

“Demand for frozen meat has been swelling at the rate of 20-25 percent annually,” said Chandra Tiwari, proprietor of Nina and Hager, one of the large producers and retailers of frozen meat items in the country.

The store deals in a wide variety of packaged meat items like chicken, mutton, pork, buff and salmon. He added that daily sales at his store had jumped from 700 kg to 1,000 kg in two years.

“There is huge demand from customers, but we have not been able to fulfil it,” he added. The store offers chicken and pork produced locally and other meat products imported from various countries. “Mutton comes from Australia, buff from India and sea foods from Thailand and Norway,” he said.

Prices of chicken sold at Nina and Hager range from Rs 400 to Rs 750 per kg. Similarly, prices of frozen mutton start at Rs 1,100. Salmon costs in the range of Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per kg.

Traders said that the country’s poorly managed and unhygienic slaughter houses had pushed people towards packaged frozen meat. “More and more people are giving up their neighbourhood butcher and going to department stores to buy meat due to the hygiene factor,” said Antim Ranjit, branding and marketing manger of Big Mart.

The increased flow of customers has encouraged department stores to add more variety to their inventory. “We have more than 50 varieties of frozen meat items,” he said, adding that many kinds of chicken and mutton were available.

“The perception that butchered chicken and mutton are fresher than chilled meat has been fading rapidly,” said Shyam Lamichhane, manager of Balkhu Meat Mart which is run by Balkhu Agriculture, Vegetables and Fruits Market. “Around six months ago, frozen meat used to account for 10 percent of our meat sales. Now the percentage has shot up to 35 percent.”

Frozen meat is processed from freshly slaughtered animals or poultry and is preserved by rapid freezing it to below minus 18 degrees Celsius, said traders. Freezing prevents bacterial growth and frozen meat is healthier than freshly butchered meat, they added.

Published: 10-07-2014 09:18

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