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Burgers and grills boom as mercury soars



1.2m more shoppers bought burgers, which featured in 4.2m more trips.

1.2m more shoppers bought burgers, which featured in 4.2m more trips.

Football may not have come home this summer, but our latest data covering the 12 weeks to 15th July sees more volume sales coming home in every Meat, Fish & Poultry (MFP) market. MFP has had a great summer so far, with all of the major categories seeing enviable volume growth. This is a continuation of the strong growth we’ve seen over the last few months, and even England being knocked out of the World Cup hasn’t dampened our interest in the market. The sunny weather has helped sales, with the stand out performer - burgers and grills – performing even better than last month.

Our most recent Grocery Market Share update found that a sizzling summer has lit up the grocery market. Supermarkets grew sales by 3.6%, and only one sector grew at a slower rate than the market overall. Whilst the weather may have recently cooled off, the sustained hot and sunny weather drove a real boost for al fresco dining, which provided a valuable shot in the arm for the barbeque markets, as well as alcohol which saw some of the strongest summer weeks ever.

The MFP markets have benefitted strongly from the heatwave, with huge growth for burgers and grills as the nation fired up the coals.

Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director for MFP, explains: “Burgers are the standout  market this month, having had a boost from the perfect barbeque weather.  1.2m more shoppers bought them, and they featured in 4.2m more trips. It’s not just more promotions driving sales – despite strong growth in temporary price reductions (TPRs), the fastest growth is seen in non promoted sales which saw 2.6m more trips. The other  barbeque staple, the great British banger, also performing well, but growth is slower than the wider market.”

Ward continues: “We’ve recently seen chilled fish return to growth and that accelerates this month, with natural fish returning to strong sales. Shoppers made 1.5m more trips than last year, with a third  of us buying the category over the last quarter. Inflation continues have an impact – sending prices up by 2.3% -  but this pales into insignificance compared to the peaks of last year.”

Older households remain the key market for chilled fish, and these shoppers are driving category growth, picking up an additional 1 million kilos over the last year. Salmon, cod and prawns are seeing the strongest growth, helping to drive both value and volume back into the category.

Poultry remains another big winner, with both the primary and processed markets showing strong growth. Primary chicken is now key to the growth, with volumes up 6.6% as 611,000 more shoppers bought the market, taking 2.7m more trips. Barbeques again look to be playing a big role here, with volumes up across breasts (+5%), wings (+7%) and legs (+8%) with all three growing ahead of the market, while whole birds see volumes fall across summer. Promotions have been vital to the growth of chicken; average prices are falling and more TPRs and meal deals are driving volume growth. Breasts particularly saw volumes rising ahead of value with significant promotional investment, as volumes on promotion were up 76% on last year with TPRs doubling volumes over the summer.

We’ve seen a few more weeks of good weather, but a potential turn for the worst weather wise coinciding with schools breaking up for summer.  Will we still see barbeques continue to drive boozy weekends or might we see a return to more formal meals as the weather turns? Find out in our next update in 4 weeks’ time.

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Nathan Ward

Business Unit Director


+44 (0) 208 967 4432

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