Bord Bia – Ukraine Pig & Beef Market Study

Project Background

The overall goal of the project was to understand the pigmeat and beef market in Ukraine and assess what the opportunities are for Irish exporters in the future. In addition, the goal was to understand how Irish exporters can access this market

Ukraine is an attractive market of 40 million people close to the EU, and a springboard to the neighbouring countries.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has become the hub for international companies who want to do business operations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. This market has a population of 200 million people.

In addition, Ukraine is known as one of the leading tourist destination countries in the post-soviet space. The main summer attractions are Odesa and Zakarpattia is the hub for the winter season. Ukraine receives 15 million international visitors every year. This provides a market for companies supplying to the hospitality industry.


To achieve the project goal Sense used a combination of trade statistics analysis, value chain analysis and consumer research.

The statistical analysis aimed to identify what are the main trends in beef and pigmeat consumption in Ukraine. The purpose of the study was to estimate the market size for beef and pigmeat in Ukraine and the share of imported products.

The value chain analysis was designed to verify and interpret trade data. Also, the Sense team conducted 10 interviews with local and international companies to learn about the local context-specific characteristics of the beef and pigmeat value chains.

In consumer research, the first goal was to identify the underlying trends in consumer behaviour that shape industry statistics and changes. The second goal was to predict future consumption over five years.

The Sense team used the following tools for consumer research:

We use three main tools for consumer research:

  • On street interviews are a quick and cost-effective method to understand consumer behaviour and preferences
  • Consumer focus groups are one-hour discussions with 6-8 participants that allow us to explore some of these themes emerging from on-street interviews in greater detail
  • Retail visits are visits to different stores to see what products are sold where and how

Main Findings/Insights.

  • Ukraine produces more than enough pigmeat to meet household demand. Imported Irish meat is very unlikely to take over household market share in the pigmeat sector.
  • Over the last decade, beef imports have declined significantly. Ukraine produces around 95% of all beef meat consumed locally. Imported Irish beef is unlikely to take over the household market in the beef sector.
  • In HoReCa, the consumption of premium beef is growing. Ukraine does not produce good quality high-quality beef meat and imports around 90% of the high-quality beef it consumes. In the premium beef meat market, Irish meat has a good chance of taking market share from HoReCa
  • HoReCa needs more good quality, affordable steak cuts. The market for high-quality steak cuts is dominated by imports from the USA. As a result, the prices remain very high and not all restaurants can afford them
  • Demand for beef meat follows a seasonal pattern. It increases from May to September. It is during this time of year when international tourists visit Ukraine. This trend in demand is mainly in the HoReCa sector, and not so much in household consumption
  • Pigmeat does not follow a seasonal trend like beef meat


Client: Bord BIA

Location: Ukraine

Project: Ukraine Pig & Beef Market Study

Value Chain: Beef and Pigmeat