An eggs-cellent time for meat, fish and poultry
The all important Easter weekend has, overall, been positive for Meat, Fish and Poultry (MFP). In the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 23 April 2017, the market has seen volume growth across all categories, but inflation is still not as pronounced as it is in the wider grocery market. Chilled fish sits apart from the other categories, seeing the most obvious inflationary increases.
With Easter now included in the year on year data, we would expect an uplift in volume for the traditional Easter categories, but lamb in particular is seeing volumes down on last year. In primary meat and poultry, declines in lamb and turkey have been offset by gains in beef and chicken.
Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director for MFP explains: “Easter was an important event last year for primary meat and poultry, driving strong volume growth. This year has been less impressive and we’ve seen volume and value drop off. There’s been a real reversal in trends, with last year’s strong performer, red meat (and particularly lamb), seeing reduced volumes. Lamb has suffered the most over the Easter period seeing a strong decline driven by roasting cuts. In fact, roasts are driving the decline across proteins with the traditional meal centrepieces all suffering volume decline compared to last year.”
Chilled fish continues to show a different dynamic, with value growing ahead of volume. Nathan Ward explains: “Inflation continues to be a large part of the value growth we are seeing in chilled fish. Rising prices aren’t as yet affecting volume, which is up 0.8%, as shoppers make 2.5 million more trips to the category. Natural fish has seen prices rise 13%, and volumes drop back as 430,000 fewer shoppers buy the category compared to last year. Salmon and mackerel are the key contributors to the decline in natural fish; their prices increased ahead of the market, with salmon up 20% and mackerel up 15%.”
Added value and shellfish continue to be the engines for volume growth. Added value fish saw 750,000 new shoppers driving growth, and prices rising at a slower rate than natural fish. Shellfish bucks the trend with falling prices helping to stimulate growth as shoppers made 1.2 million more trips.
The great weather in April looks to have inspired more BBQs over Easter this year, and sausages saw strong growth. Some 450,000 additional households bought sausages, 2.2 million more trips were made, with the strongest contributions coming from families and retired households. Sales not on promotion and Y for £X sales are driving growth in the category. While the trend seen in the overall market has been that Y for £X promotions are being used less and less, the mechanic is common in cross category BBQ fixtures. Burgers are in growth but at a slower rate than sausages, and with less interaction with Y for £X promotions – and perhaps more activity could stimulate both categories.
With the major retailers moving more BBQ lines into store, we would expect the BBQ season to kick off in earnest and start affecting the core markets over the next few months. Find out the impact in our next update in four weeks time!