Bank holiday BBQ bonanza for meat, fish and poultry
Our latest data covering the 12 weeks to 20th May finds things are looking a lot more positive for the meat, fish and poultry (MFP) market, with primary and processed meat and poultry and chilled fish returning to growth. This mirrored the performance we’ve seen in the grocery market overall, where the ‘Markle Sparkle’ and hot weather combined to drive a noticeable spike in sales.
The MFP markets have benefitted from this great weather with huge growth seen in burgers and grills as the nation fired up the barbeque.
Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director for MFP, explains: “We’ve seen a great performance across lots of areas, but burgers stand out as star performer. Growing 17% year on year, a million more shoppers than last year picked up burgers, which featured in 2.1 million more trips. Volume sales grew by 1.7 million kilos; the equivalent of six jumbo jets. Younger shoppers, especially families, account for 45% of the growth, despite only accounting for 30% of burger shoppers. Good multi-buy promotions for BBQ ranges in store played a role but full price sales have been key to growth as demand increased.”
Ward continues:“Primary and processed poultry were the other big winners this period, growing volumes ahead of the market and attracting more shoppers. Primary chicken in particular gave the overall primary market a boost and added 400,000 shoppers. We saw shoppers making 3.1 million more trips for chicken over the period, as volume growth for legs (+10%), breasts (+8%) and wings (+5%) once again saw it ruling the roost. Chicken breasts were given strong promotional support over the period, with promoted sales up 66% on last year. Greater use of price cuts and multi-buys in the sector saw boosted growth, with 1.8m more trips including primary chicken year on year.
Processed poultry also saw more shoppers entering the category, with promotional support stable– but with greater focus on BBQ lines at this crucial period of the year. Growth among older shoppers has provided a boost for the market, particularly older dependents and retired shoppers.”
A big change this month is chilled fish returning to growth. Levels of inflation have stated to slow, resulting in the market stabilising after a long period of volume decline brought on by rising prices. This month we see shoppers returning to the category, with 360,000 more of us buying fish. All sectors are in growth, except for added value, which has taken a back seat due to the success of barbeque products. One big contributing factor to growth is more promotions; as inflation falls back there has been more latitude to promote, with multi-buys driving strong growth for the category. Natural fish has returned to volume growth as salmon and cod volume sales recover. Salmon is seeing strong volume growth, up 5% on last year, as 555,00 more shoppers buy the market despite prices still rising (up 4%.)
While today’s update is full of positive news for the category, there are still opportunities for growth to be found. The weather continues to hold out and a summer heatwave is forecasted. Will barbeques continue to be our summer meal of choice, or will we turn to lighter, cold meals like salads? Find out in a month’s time whether it will be another strong month for the market in the next MFP update.