This paper investigates significant forces that affect away-from-home (AFH) meat consumption in China. Multivariate Tobit models were used to analyze a set of survey data from 340 households in Jiangsu, Shandong, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, and Sichuan Provinces in 2005. AFH meat consumption accounts for an increasing share of food consumption expenditure in China. Aside from income level and urban location, family characteristics (e.g., the employment status of the wife and the opportunity to participate in collective consumption) also influence AFH meat consumption. Beef and mutton consumption is higher in Inner Mongolia and Liaoning. This paper makes the case that studies of food consumption in China should focus on expenditure on food away from home. In addition, future studies should integrate food consumption at home with food consumption away from home. As the Chinese economy continues to grow and the country becomes more urbanized, the wealth generated will result in further rapid growth in AFH beef consumption. Sourcing an adequate supply to meet the increasing demand will pose a significant challenge for the Chinese beef industry and the Chinese government.


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