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High prices Swiss pay the most for meat in Europe

Meat counter at supermarket

A meat counter at a Swiss supermarket

(Keystone)

Switzerland has the most expensive meat in Europe – with steaks and pork chops costing almost one and a half times more than the European average, statistics show.

Luxemburg and Austria have the most expensive meat with in the European Union, with prices in 2017 being around 40% over the European average. In non-EU Switzerland the difference (when adjusted for purchasing power) was 143%, according to the European statistics portal Eurostatexternal link, which highlighted the numbers because of it being BBQ season.

An article published by swissinfo.ch earlier this year found that the high cost of living does not fully explain why meat prices are so high in Switzerland. There are high production costs, as well as cultural reasons, such as the environmentally friendly and sustainable methods used.

Other non-EU countries are also expensive: in Iceland and Norway you pay 72% and 53% over the average respectively.

The cheapest places to by meat are Poland and Bulgaria, where prices are around 40% less than the EU average.

Trend towards less meat

Overall, people in Switzerland are eating less and less meat. In 2017, 50.1 kilogrammes of meat was eaten per person – in 1996 it was 53.6kg. The record high was in 1987 at 60.5kg. In comparison, In Germany people eat 60kg per person on average and in Austria, almost 100kg.

Experts have speculatedexternal link that a change in consumer habits, such as the trend towards healthy eating, the rise in vegan and other types of cuisine, and consideration of environmental issues, may account for people turning away from meat.

Eurostat/SDA-ATS/swissinfo.ch/ilj

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