Nutrition Transition and the Structure of Global Food Demand

34 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2017

See all articles by Christophe Gouel

Christophe Gouel

National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) - UMR Economie Publique; CGIAR - Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division

Houssein Guimbard

Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Info. Internationales (CEPII)

Date Written: April 7, 2017

Abstract

Estimating future demand for food is a critical aspect of global food security analyses. The process linking dietary changes to wealth is known as the nutrition transition and presents well-identified features that help to predict consumption changes in poor countries. This study proposes to represent the nutrition transition with a nonhomothetic, flexible-in-income, demand system, known as the Modified Implicitly Directly Additive Demand System (MAIDADS). The resulting model is transparent and estimated statistically based on cross-sectional information from FAOSTAT the statistical database of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It captures the main features of the nutrition transition: rise in demand for calories associated with income growth; diversification of diets away from starchy staples; and a large increase in caloric demand for animal-based products, fats, and sweeteners. The estimated model is used to project food demand between 2010 and 2050 based on a set of plausible futures (trend projections and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways scenarios). The main results of these projections are as follows: (1) global food demand will increase by 46 percent, less than half the growth in the previous four decades; (2) this growth will be attributable mainly to lower-middle-income and low-income countries; (3) the structure of global food demand will change over the period, with a 95 percent increase in demand for animal-based calories and a much smaller 18 percent increase in demand for starchy staples; and (4) the analysis of a range of population and income projections reveals important uncertainties depending on the scenario, the projected increases in demand for animal-based and vegetal-based calories range from 78 to 109 percent and from 20 to 42 percent, respectively.

Keywords: food security, demand, nutrition, diet, commodity markets, markets, economic development, prices, population, income, foods, Bennett’s law, food demand, nutrition transition

JEL Classification: D12, Q11

Suggested Citation

Gouel, Christophe Benoit and Guimbard, Houssein, Nutrition Transition and the Structure of Global Food Demand (April 7, 2017). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1631. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2950524

Christophe Benoit Gouel (Contact Author)

National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) - UMR Economie Publique ( email )

Centre de Grignon
BP01
Thiverval-Grignon, 78850
France

HOME PAGE: http://christophegouel.com/

CGIAR - Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division ( email )

United States

Houssein Guimbard

Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Info. Internationales (CEPII) ( email )

113 rue de Grenelle
Paris, F-75007
France

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