According to a new report by market research company MarketsandMarkets, the global processed meat market was worth $361.6 billion in 2012. Fueled by rising demand for high-quality and ready-to-eat meat products, the global processed meat market is predicted to expand by a compound annual growth rate of 14.3 percent over the next five years, reaching $799 billion.

The main factors that are influencing the processed meat market are the rising population worldwide and increasing disposable income in developing economies, such as Latin American countries and countries in the Asia Pacific, which constitute a large segment of the market.

On the downside, the report suggested that industry growth could be impeded by the economic crisis in many developed markets, concerns over soaring obesity rates and the health risks linked to the consumption of processed meat.

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In line with demand for meat products, the industry will need more modern and efficient equipment, thus pushing the market for meat processing equipment to $11.5 billion in 2018, up from $7.6 billion last year, the report stated.

In order to stay competitive, the processed meat industry is aiming to deliver high-quality products. This in turn leads to renewed demand for processing equipment but the development of the market could be held back by lack of skilled workers in emerging economies and by lack of awareness about the processing equipment in the industry, the report concluded.