New Zealand's poultry market needs to look to offshore markets for growth, says Rabobank.

Strong growth in both volume and value terms was possible for New Zealand's chicken meat industry, but it needed to focus on alternative strategies to capture new opportunities, the rural lending specialist said.

In a report, Rabobank said new strategies would be required to "catch the next wave of growth" as consumption of chicken meat moderates.

"Previous drivers of consumption growth " such as chicken's low price point, health benefits and versatility will continue to play a role in increasing demand for chicken meat, but this impact is expected to wane," senior animal proteins analyst, Angus Gidley-Baird, said in the report.


"If New Zealand consumers' per capita consumption of chicken meat does not continue to increase, without further expansion into new export markets, production growth is likely to be limited to population growth which is expected to be about 1.1 per cent," he said.

If, however, the industry can successfully adopt these new strategies, the report indicates it can achieve an average growth rate of 2.9 per cent over the next five years.

Rabobank said consumption of chicken meat in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam was expected to rise 15 per cent over the next five years.