If you visit Switzerland, then you should expect to pay around 141% above the global average for a bit of meat, according to a study by Caterwings.
A kilogram of beef tenderloin costs $64 (€54) in Switzerland, compared to the $2.27 (€2.67) you could pick it up for in Colombia – the world’s cheapest place to buy tenderloin beef.
This is according to Caterwings’ Meat Price Index, which explored the price of meat in over 50 countries worldwide. The study compared the cost of beef, pork, chicken, lamb and seafood with the minimum wage in each country’s biggest city to provide a comparison on the global average of meat prices and affordability.
Meat prices reveal global ‘inequality’
And while tenderloin beef in Switzerland costs more than any country aside from Hong Kong, it would take an unskilled worker in the country – which officially does not have a minimum wage – 3.1 hours of work to buy the beef.
A minimum-wage worker in Hong Kong, the world’s most expensive place to buy tenderloin beef, would have to put in 7.5 hours of hard graft before they could afford tasty tenderloin.
This examination of meat prices versus affordability has revealed “enormous disparity” in how long it would take people on minimum wages in different countries to pay for meat, the study said.
A typical unskilled labourer in Indonesia, for example, would have to work just under 24 hours before being able to afford beef, but a similarly unskilled worker in Denmark could afford good beef after an hour’s work.
“What began as a simple catering cost price index for market research has raised some important questions,” said Caterwings managing director Susannah Belcher.
“It is clear that international inequality exists and, as the world begins to rethink the implications of globalisation, this study clearly demonstrates that food prices ought to be on the agenda.”
Asia is home to four of the top 10 most expensive countries for meat in the world, with Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Singapore all costly destinations for carnivores.