Poultry consumption increased sixfold over 30 years, while mutton declined by half
Habits of meat consumption, among Iceland’s population, have changed drastically over the last thirty years, according to recent numbers from Statistics Iceland (StatIce). Whereas in 1983, 70% of all meat consumed was mutton, it is now down to around a quarter of total meat consumption. This was reported by Kjarninn.
Meat consumption per person increased by almost a quarter, per person, between 1983 and 2013. Lamb and mutton consumption per person, however, shrank by more than half in the same period. Whereas an average person in the country ate 45 kg of mutton in 1983, that number was down to 21 kg in 2013. Horse meat consumption also declined in the period, but nowhere as drastically, and was minor to begin with.
Meanwhile, on average, people now consume more than sixfold the amount of poultry they did in 1983, up from 4.3 kg per year, to 27 kg in 2013. The same goes for pork to a lesser extent, its consumption increased fourfold in the period. While the average person’s consumption of pork was 4.9 kg per year in 1983, it had steadily increased to 19 kg in 2013. Beef consumption increased mildly in comparison, yet by over 50%.
Traditional farming in Iceland revolves around sheep. The first poultry-based fast food restaurant in Iceland, a KFC outlet, opened for business in 1980. According to the StatIce data, the actual dethroning took place between 2006 and 2007, the latter being the first year in which more poultry was consumed than mutton.