How the Income Elasticity of Meat Consumption differs between social groups? A case of the UK and the Czech Republic

DOI 10.7160/aol.2021.130409
No 4/2021, December
pp. 101-117

Špička, J., Eastham, J. and Arltová, M. (2021) “How the Income Elasticity of Meat Consumption differs between social groups? A case of the UK and the Czech Republic", AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 101-117. ISSN 1804-1930. DOI 10.7160/aol.2021.130409.


The purpose of the article is to show different consumer behaviour between ten different income levels (deciles) and different countries and to examine the elasticity distance between income deciles in the UK (a high-income country) and the Czech Republic (a low-income country) within the context of meat consumption. The official statistic services provided data in the Czech Republic (Czech Statistical Office, 2020) and the UK (Office for National Statistics, 2020). Data on the Czech Republic come from the household budget surveys (HBS). In contrast, corresponding data on UK consumers was drawn from the Living Costs and Food survey, which succeeded the National food survey and household expenditure survey. Both sets of data were set according to households’ structure from the EU-SILC Survey (national module of the European Union – Statistics on Income and Living Conditions). To estimate the income elasticity of meat in the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom in different consumer income groups, a time series cointegration analysis was applied to analyse the annual data for 2000-2017. The Törnquist equation and the difference between income elasticity in monetary and natural expression show saturation and preference of high quality meat in the higher-income consumers in the UK than the same groups in the Czech Republic and overall increasing demand for quality in other income groups. The results support the theory of nutrition transitions. The value of the research is that it would enable the exploration of the potential impact and nature of fiscal interventions for improving diets whilst enabling food producers to forecast meat consumption within the different customer segments.


Price elasticity, income elasticity, meat consumption, saturation limit.


  1. Aftab, S., Yaseen, M. R. and Anwar, S. (2017) "Impact of rising food prices on consumer welfare in the most populous countries of South Asia", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 44, No. 8, pp. 1062-1077. ISSN 0306-8293. DOI 10.1108/IJSE-01-2016-0016.
  2. Andreyeva, T., Long, M. W. and Brownell, K. D. (2010) "The impact of food prices on consumption: A systematic review of research on the price elasticity of demand for food", American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 100, No. 2, pp. 216-222. ISSN 0090-0036. DOI 10.2105/AJPH.2008.151415.
  3. Benda Prokeinova, R. and Hanova, M. (2016) "Modelling consumer’s behaviour of the meat consumption in Slovakia", Agricultural Economics - Czech, Vol. 62, No. 5, pp. 235-245. ISSN 0139-570X. DOI 10.17221/33/2015-AGRICECON.
  4. Blazkova, I. (2016) "Convergence of Market Concentration: Evidence from Czech Food Processing Sectors", AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 25-36. ISSN 1804-1930. DOI 10.7160/aol.2016.080403.
  5. Bouvard, V., Loomis, D., Guyton, K. Z., Grosse, Y., Ghissassi, F. El, Benbrahim-Tallaa, L., Straif, K. (2015) "Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat", The Lancet Oncology, Vol. 16, No. 16, pp. 1599-1600. ISSN 1407-2045. DOI 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00444-1.
  6. Breusch, T. S. and Godfrey, L. G. (1986) "Data Transformation Tests", The Economic Journal, Vol. 96, pp. 47. ISSN 0013-0133. DOI 10.2307/2232969.
  7. Christensen, L. R., Jorgenson, D. W. and Lau, L. J. (1975) "Transcendental Logarithmic Utility Functions", The American Economic Review, Vol. 65, No. 3, pp. 367-383. ISSN 0002-8282.
  8. Clements, K. W. and Si, J. (2016) "Price Elasticities of Food Demand: Compensated vs Uncompensated", Health Economics, Vol. 25, No. 11, pp. 1403-1408. ISSN 1057-9230. DOI 10.1002/hec.3226.
  9. Clonan, A., Wilson, P., Swift, J. A., Leibovici, D. G. and Holdsworth, M. (2015) "Red and processed meat consumption and purchasing behaviours and attitudes: impacts for human health, animal welfare and environmental sustainability", Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 18, No. 13, pp. 2446-2456. ISSN 1368-9800. DOI 10.1017/S1368980015000567.
  10. Colen, L., Melo, P. C., Abdul-Salam, Y., Roberts, D., Mary, S. and Gomez Y Paloma, S. (2018) "Income elasticities for food, calories and nutrients across Africa: A meta-analysis", Food Policy, Vol. 77, No. May, pp. 116-132. ISSN 0306-9192. DOI 10.1016/j.foodpol.2018.04.002.
  11. Cook, E. (2018) "Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics", 2018 ed., Brussels, Publications Office of the EU. ISBN 978-92-79-94757-5. ISSN 2363-2488. DOI 10.2785/340432.
  12. Cupák, A., Pokrivčák, J. and Rizov, M. (2015) "Food demand and consumption patterns in the new EU member states: The case of Slovakia", Ekonomicky Casopis, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 339-358. ISSN 0013-3035.
  13. Czech Statistical Office (2020) "Meat consumption statistics by income deciles". [Online]. Available: [Acessed: Jan 15, 2021].
  14. Darnell, A. C. (1994) "A Dictionary of Econometrics", Edward Elgar Pub. ISBN 9781852783891.
  15. De Agostini, P. (2014) "The effect of food prices and household income on the British diet", ISER Working Paper Series, Vol. 2014, No. 1. E-ISSN 2435-0982.
  16. De Backer, C. J. S. and Hudders, L. (2015) "Meat morals: relationship between meat consumption consumer attitudes towards human and animal welfare and moral behavior", Meat Science, Vol. 99, pp. 68-74. ISSN 0309-1740. DOI 10.1016/j.meatsci.2014.08.011.
  17. De Zhou, Yu, X., Abler, D. and Chen, D. (2018) "Projecting meat and cereals demand for China based on a meta-analysis of income elasticities", China Economic Review, No. Dec., pp. 1-15. ISSN 1043-951X. DOI 10.1016/j.chieco.2017.12.002.
  18. Deaton, A. and Muellbauer, J. (1980) "An Almost Ideal Demand System", The American Economic Review, Vol. 70, No. 3, pp. 312-326. ISSN 0002-8282.
  19. Dickey, D. A. and Fuller, W. A. (1979) "Distribution of the Estimators for Autoregressive Time Series With a Unit Root", Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 74, No. 366, pp. 427-431. ISSN 0162-1459. DOI 10.2307/2286348.
  20. Dubihlela, D. (2014) "The Impact Of Price Changes On Demand Among Poor Households In A South African Township", Vol. 13, No. 3. ISSN 1535-0754. DOI 10.19030/iber.v13i3.8586.
  21. Engle, R. F. and Granger, C. W. J. (1987) "Co-Integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing", Econometrica, Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 251-276. ISSN 0012-9682. DOI 10.2307/1913236.
  22. Etemadi, A., Sinha, R., Ward, M. H., Graubard, B. I., Inoue-Choi, M., Dawsey, S. M. and Abnet, C. C. (2017) "Mortality from different causes associated with meat, heme iron, nitrates, and nitrites in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study: population based cohort study", BMJ-British Medical Journal. ISSN 1756-1833. DOI 10.1136/bmj.j1957.
  23. Euromonitor International (2018) "Processed Meat and Seafood in Czech Republic", Passport, No. Nov. [Online]. Available: [Acessed: Jan 15, 2021].
  24. Farchi, S., De Sario, M., Lapucci, E., Davoli, M. and Michelozzi, P. (2017) "Meat consumption reduction in Italian regions: Health co-benefits and decreases in GHG emissions", PLoS ONE, Vol. 12, No. 8, pp. 1-20. ISSN 1932-6203. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0182960.
  25. Gallant, A. R. (1981) "On the bias in flexible functional forms and an essentially unbiased form", Journal of Econometrics, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 211-245. ISSN 0304-4076. DOI 10.1016/0304-4076(81)90115-9.
  26. Gerber, P. J., Steinfeld, H., Henderson, B., Mottet, A., Opio, C., Dijkman, J., Falcucci, A. and Tempio, G. (2013) "Tackling climate change through livestock - A global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities", Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome. E-ISBN 978-92-5-107921-8, ISBN 978-92-5-107920-1. [Online]. Available: [Acessed: Jan 10, 2021].
  27. Godfray, H. C. J., Aveyard, P., Garnett, T., Hall, J. W., Key, T. J., Lorimer, J., Pierrehumbert, R. J., Scarborough, P., Springmann, M. and Jebb, S. A. (2018) "Meat consumption, health, and the environment", Science (New York, N.Y.), Vol. 361, No. 6399. ISSN 0036-8075. DOI 10.1126/science.aam5324.
  28. Green, R., Cornelsen, L., Dangour, A. D., Honorary, R. T., Shankar, B., Mazzocchi, M. and Smith, R. D. (2013) "The effect of rising food prices on food consumption: systematic review with meta-regression", BMJ-British Medical Journal, Vol. 347, No. 7915, pp. 1-9. ISSN 1756-1833. DOI 10.1136/bmj.f3703.
  29. Hálová, P. (2006) "The analysis of consumer behavior with Törnquist functions using for choice food products", In Agrarian Perspectives XV - Foreign trade and globalization processes, pp. 168-173.
  30. Hálová, P. (2015) "Analysis of flowers production and consumption determinants in Czech Republic", Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, Vol. 63, No. 3, pp. 903-913. ISSN 1221-8516. DOI 10.11118/actaun201563030903.
  31. Harding, M. and Lovenheim, M. (2017) "The effect of prices on nutrition: Comparing the impact of product- and nutrient-specific taxes", Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 53, pp. 53-71. ISSN 0167-6296. DOI 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2017.02.003.
  32. Hovhannisyan, V. and Gould, B. W. (2014) "Structural change in urban Chinese food preferences", Agricultural Economics, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 159-166. ISSN 0169-5150. DOI 10.1111/agec.12038.
  33. Hupková, D., Bielik, P. and Turčeková, N. (2009) "Structural changes in the beef meat demand in Slovakia and demand elasticity estimation", Agricultural Economics - Czech, Vol. 55, No. 8, pp. 361-367. ISSN 0139-570X. DOI 10.17221/41/2009-AGRICECON.
  34. Jarque, C. M. and Bera, A. K. (1980) "Efficient tests for normality, homoscedasticity and serial independence of regression residuals", Economics Letters, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 255-259. ISSN 0165-1765. DOI 10.1016/0165-1765(80)90024-5.
  35. Konig, B. and Dovadova, G. (2016) "Trends in household consumption inequalities in Slovakia: Empirical evidence", Ekonomicky Casopis, Vol. 64, No. 3, pp. 238-259. ISSN 0013-3035.
  36. Kubicová, Ľ., Kádeková, Z., Nagyová, Ľ. and Stávková, J. (2011) "The Income situation of the private households and its impact on the food consumption in the Slovak Republic", Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, Vol. 59, No. 7, pp. 217-224. ISSN 1221-8516. DOI 10.11118/actaun201159070217.
  37. Kučerová, V. and Zeman, J. (2013) "Cenová elasticita poptávky jako nástroj pro plánování úspěšných akčních slev Price Elasticity of Demand as a Tool for Planning of Successful Promotional Discounts", Trendy Ekonomiky a Managementu, Vol. VII, No. 17, pp. 101-113. ISSN 1802-8527. (In Czech).
  38. Li, L., Song, Z. and Ma, C. (2015) "Engel curves and price elasticity in urban Chinese Households", Economic Modelling, Vol. 44, pp. 236-242. ISSN 0264-9993. DOI 10.1016/j.econmod.2014.10.002.
  39. Lundberg, J. and Lundberg, S. (2012) "Distributional Effects of Lower Food Prices in a Rich Country: Calculations Based on Estimates of Household Demand for Food", Journal of Consumer Policy, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 373-391. ISSN 0168-7034. DOI 10.1007/s10603-012-9193-x.
  40. Marquer, P., Rabade, T. and Forti, R. (2015) "Meat production statistics", Brussels. [Online]. Available: [Acessed: Jan 10, 2021].
  41. Mathijs, E. (2015) "Exploring future patterns of meat consumption", Meat Science, Vol. 109, pp. 112-116. ISSN 0309-1740. DOI 10.1016/j.meatsci.2015.05.007.
  42. Mekonnen, M. M. and Hoekstra, A. Y. (2012) "A Global Assessment of the Water Footprint of Farm Animal Products", Ecosystems, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 401-415. ISSN 1432-9840. DOI 10.1007/s10021-011-9517-8.
  43. Melina, V., Craig, W. and Levin, S. (2016) "Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets", Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol. 116, No. 12, pp. 1970-1980. ISSN 2212-2672. DOI 10.1016/j.jand.2016.09.025.
  44. Milford, A. B., Le Mouël, C., Bodirsky, B. L. and Rolinski, S. (2019) "Drivers of meat consumption", Appetite, Vol. 141, No. June. ISSN 0195-6663. DOI 10.1016/j.appet.2019.06.005.
  45. Ministry of Agriculture (2020) "The statistical report of the Czech agriculture", Prague: Ministry of Agriculture, internal document.
  46. Mizdrak, A., Scarborough, P., Waterlander, W. E. and Rayner, M. (2015) "Differential responses to food price changes by personal characteristic: A systematic review of experimental studies", PLoS ONE, Vol. 10, No. 7, pp. 1-20. ISSN 1932-6203. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0130320.
  47. Muhammad, A., D'Souza, A., Meade, B., Micha, R. and Mozaffarian, D. (2017) "How income and food prices influence global dietary intakes by age and sex: evidence from 164 countries", BMJ Global Health, Vol. 2, No. 3. ISSN 2059-7908. DOI 10.1136/bmjgh-2016-000184.
  48. Niebylski, M. L., Redburn, K. A., Duhaney, T. and Campbell, N. R. (2015) "Healthy food subsidies and unhealthy food taxation: A systematic review of the evidence", Nutrition, Vol. 31, No. 6, pp. 787-795. ISSN 0899-9007. DOI 10.1016/j.nut.2014.12.010.
  49. Norton, E. (2020) "UK meat consumption. The UK consumes more beef than a decade ago". [Online]. Available: [Acessed: Jan 15, 2021].
  50. OECD (2020) "Meat consumption". [Online]. Available at [Acessed: Jan 15, 2021].
  51. Pearce, D. W. (ed.) (1986) "Macmillan Dictionary of Modern Economics", London: Macmillan Education UK. ISBN 9780333417485. DOI 10.1007/978-1-349-18424-8.
  52. Popkin, B. M. (2006) "Global nutrition dynamics: the world is shifting rapidly toward a diet linked with noncommunicable diseases", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, No. 2, pp. 289-298. ISSN 0002-9165. DOI 10.1093/ajcn/84.2.289.
  53. Regmi, A. and Meade, B. (2013) "Demand side drivers of global food security", Global Food Security, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 166-171. ISSN 2211-9124. DOI 10.1016/j.gfs.2013.08.001.
  54. Ren, Y., Zhang, Y., Loy, J.-P. and Glauben, T. (2018) "Food consumption among income classes and its response to changes in income distribution in rural China", China Agricultural Economic Review, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 406-424. ISSN 1756-137X. DOI 10.1108/CAER-08-2014-0079.
  55. Rohrmann, S., Overvad, K., Bueno-de-Mesquita, H. B., Jakobsen, M. U., Egeberg, R., Tjønneland, A., Linseisen, J. (2013) "Meat consumption and mortality - results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition", BMC Medicine, Vol. 11, No. 1, 63 p. ISSN 1741-7015. DOI 10.1186/1741-7015-11-63.
  56. Salotti, S., Montinari, L., Amores, A. F. and Rueda-Cantuche, J. M. (2015) "Total expenditure elasticity of non-durable consumption of European households", European Union: JRC Technical Report EUR 27081 EN.
  57. Santeramo, F. G., Carlucci, D., De Devitiis, B., Seccia, A., Stasi, A., Viscecchia, R. and Nardone, G. (2018) "Emerging trends in European food, diets and food industry", Food Research International, Vol. 104, No. October 2017, pp. 39-47. ISSN 0963-9969. DOI 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.10.039.
  58. Smed, S., Jensen, J. D. and Denver, S. (2007) "Socio-economic characteristics and the effect of taxation as a health policy instrument", Food Policy, Vol. 32, No. 5-6, pp. 624-639. ISSN 0306-9192. DOI 10.1016/j.foodpol.2007.03.002.
  59. Spicka, J. (2016) "Market Concentration and Profitability of the Grocery Retailers in Central Europe", Central European Business Review, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 5-24. ISSN 1805-4854. DOI 10.18267/j.cebr.155.
  60. Spicka, J. and Naglova, Z. (2017) "Consumers´ preference of quality and pice in buying meat and meat products", Maso, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 50-54. ISSN 1210-4086.
  61. Springmann, M., Mason-D'Croz, D., Robinson, S., Wiebe, K., Godfray, H. C. J., Rayner, M. and Scarborough, P. (2018) "Health-motivated taxes on red and processed meat: A modelling study on optimal tax levels and associated health impacts", PLoS ONE, Vol. 13, No. 11, pp. 1-16. ISSN 1932-6203. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0204139.
  62. Steenhuis, I. H., Waterlander, W. E. and de Mul, A. (2011) "Consumer food choices: the role of price and pricing strategies", Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 14, No. 12, pp. 2220-2226. ISSN 1368-9800. DOI 10.1017/S1368980011001637.
  63. Syrovátka, P. (2012) "Income elasticity of demand within individual consumer groups and the level of income elasticity of the entire market demand", Agricultural Economics - Czech, Vol. 52, No. No. 9, pp. 412-417. ISSN 0139-570X. DOI 10.17221/5044-AGRICECON.
  64. Thow, A. M., Jan, S., Leeder, S. and Swinburn, B. (2010) "The effect of fiscal policy on diet, obesity and chronic disease: a systematic review", Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol. 88, No. 8, pp. 609-614. ISSN 0042-9686. DOI 10.2471/BLT.09.070987.
  65. Tiffin, R. and Arnoult, M. (2010) "The demand for a healthy diet: estimating the almost ideal demand system with infrequency of purchase", European Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 501-521. ISSN 0165-1587. DOI 10.1093/erae/jbq038.
  66. Tiffin, R. and Arnoult, M. (2011) "The public health impacts of a fat tax", European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 65, No. 4, pp. 427-433. ISSN 0954-3007. DOI 10.1038/ejcn.2010.281.
  67. Tiffin, R., Balcombe, K., Salois, M. and Kehlbacher, A. (2011) "Estimating Food and Drink Elasticities", University of Reading. [Online]. Available: [Acessed: Jan 8, 2021].
  68. Türkekul, B. and Unakitan, G. (2011) "A co-integration analysis of the price and income elasticities of energy demand in Turkish agriculture", Energy Policy, Vol. 39, No. 5, pp. 2416-2423. ISSN 0301-4215. DOI 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.01.064.
  69. Ulubasoglu, M., Mallick, D., Wadud, M., Hone, P. and Haszler, H. (2015) "Food demand elasticities for Australia", The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol. 60, No. 2, pp. 177-195. ISSN 1364-985X. DOI 10.1111/1467-8489.12111.
  70. Vranken, L., Avermaete, T., Petalios, D. and Mathijs, E. (2014) "Curbing global meat consumption: Emerging evidence of a second nutrition transition", Environmental Science & Policy, Vol. 39, No. May 20, pp. 95-106. ISSN 1462-9011. DOI 10.1016/j.envsci.2014.02.009.
  71. Wang, X., Lin, X., Ouyang, Y. Y., Liu, J., Zhao, G., Pan, A. and Hu, F. B. (2016) "Red and processed meat consumption and mortality: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies", Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 19, No. 5, pp. 893-905. ISSN 1368-9800. DOI 10.1017/S1368980015002062.
  72. Wohlgenant, M. K. (1984) "Conceptual and Functional Form Issues in Estimating Demand Elasticities for Food", American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 66, No. 2, pp. 211-215. ISSN 0002-9092. DOI 10.2307/1241045.
  73. Wolk, A. (2017) "Potential health hazards of eating red meat", Journal of Internal Medicine, Vol. 281, No. 2, pp. 106-122. ISSN 0954-6820. DOI 10.1111/joim.12543.

Full paper

  Full paper (.pdf, 704.31 KB).