The market for meat processing equipment is growing, driven by rising demand for processed foods as a result of the increasing global population and consumer preference for protein-rich processed food products.

According to a new report from Research and Markets, the global market for meat processing equipment will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.23 percent in 2013-2018. This market includes the supply of cutters, blenders, massagers, tenderizing and grinding equipment and machines for dicing, filling and smoking.

Over the next few years the research firm expects many vendors to acquire smaller suppliers to enhance their distribution channels and improve their market reach. In turn, this trend is expected to lead more meat manufacturers to automate their meat processing plants with high-end processing equipment, supporting the growth of the global meat processing equipment market during the forecast period.

One of the main challenges facing the market is rising food prices, with high inflation rates in many developing and developed economies leading to higher food prices, thereby slowing the pace of adoption of processing equipment.

The key vendors identified in the report are John Bean Technologies Corp., Marel hf and Tetra Laval International SA.

Other leading vendors include Bettcher Industries Inc., GEA Group AG, The Manitowoc Co. Inc., Tomra Systems ASA, Tool Works Inc. and Weber GmbH.