In this week’s Poultry Future newsletter, WATT Global Media explored the topic of how consumer trends and new technologies will shape the poultry industry in the next five to 10 years. That topic, and what emerging technologies might help solve the challenges associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic, will be the focus of the keynote presentation at the Virtual Poultry Tech Summit, October 20-22, hosted by WATT Global Media.

“COVID-19 will have a recession-like effect on the economy. There is a strong correlation between median income and meat intake. If median income drops this year – and I would be shocked if it didn’t – we should expect to see meat consumption go down,” explained Dr. Paul Aho, poultry economist and President of Poultry Perspective.

Poultry should weather the downturn better than pork or beef, as most consumer typically turn to a lower-priced meat during a recession.

Aho will be the keynote speaker at the Virtual Poultry Tech Summit. This online event facilitates the transition of innovation technologies from researchers and entrepreneurs into commercial applications for the benefit of the poultry industry.

Registration for the 2020 Virtual Poultry Tech Summit is now open.

“I think COVID-19 has highlighted the need for automation, robotics and machinery in processing plants,” Aho added.

In terms of plant-based trends, Aho said, “I’m not sure yet how COVID-19 will affect consumption of meat substitutes. It has accelerated some trends but slowed others. I do think that the people eating the Impossible Burger now will continue to do so.