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A buoyant Christmas for Meat, Fish and Poultry



A buoyant Christmas for Meat, Fish and Poultry

Our latest market update for 2018 covers the 12 weeks to 30th December, includes the crucial festive trading period. 

The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel already show a record year for grocery, with Saturday 22nd December the strongest day for grocery sales. Fresh meat. fish and poultry (MFP) also grew sales over a 12-week period but saw a softer performance over the last four weeks of the year.

Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director, MFP, explains: “Christmas is always a strong period for the category, with sales above the average quarter.  Some markets (like turkey) see their largest sales of the year in the two weeks running-up to the festivities. This year the winners are pork, chicken and chilled fish, which all saw value and volume growth. Turkey remains static in volume over the 12 weeks but has seen value drop slightly. The press has reported on the demise of the Christmas dinner, but the evidence is much less conclusive, with more shoppers buying turkey over the four weeks compared to last year. Turkey remains the key part of Christmas dinner and still dominates sales in the last week before Christmas.”

Ward, continues: “The pressure on meat and poultry is being over exaggerated by press claims that we are all turning towards plant-based diets. There is limited evidence of us becoming a nation of vegetarians and vegans, with more shoppers buying into primary meant and poultry compared to last year. Beef continues the decline we saw last month, driven by the cuts of joints, stewing and steaks. We’ve seen 3 million fewer trips for beef, as shoppers move volume into other categories. Beef promotions are driving less volume, with TPRs seeing 10% less sales: steak and stewing beef are the key categories driving this.  Lamb’s strong value performance continues with the growth of joints over Christmas offset by the falling volume of chops. Chicken and pork are the strong performers within the big four proteins growing volume over 4%, supported by falling base prices and stronger pork promotions.”

Ward continues: “Chilled fish has had a strong performance over Christmas adding 1.8 million more trips: natural and smoked fish drove sales. Smoked salmon was a big winner this Christmas, driving the smoked category with 970k more trips and value growth of 15% compared to last year. Natural fish growth was due to some strong promotional support with 27% more volume sold on promotion. Again, salmon is the big winner with volumes up 21% on last year as more promotions help drive sales. Shellfish suffered over Christmas, without a large uplift in sales, despite increased promotional support.”

Will the forecast Beast from the East mean we turn to warming favourites, or will Veganuary bite into the MFP category? Stay tuned for our next update in four weeks’ time, where we will analyse the first weeks of 2019.

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Nathan Ward

Business Unit Director


+44 (0) 208 967 4432

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