Chilled Fish Flourishes as MFP market struggles
This has been a tough month for the market following a strong one in the period before. We’ve seen volumes fall back with a weaker May and Easter period in the 12 weeks to 19th May 2019. Only chilled fish sees volume growing, but with a lower value rise than grocery which is up 1.3%. The Markle Sparkle helped the MFP market last year, but the latest 12 weeks has lost that shine for both the Meat, Fish and Poultry (MFP) sectors and grocery as a whole.
The Meat, Fish and Poultry market relies on events to drive volume, so these factors (coupled with a poor Easter) have had a big effect on the latest figures. Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director, MFP, explains: “Fresh Meat and Poultry volumes are static on last year, which is a positive considering the strength of 2018. However, there is cause for concern in the performance of beef which has been a big driver of the negative volume performance. Beef has seen 1.8m fewer trips year on year, with 220,000 less shoppers overall. The trips the remaining shoppers have made are smaller with basket sizes down 1% on last year, despite an increase of 10% in promoted volumes. Roasting joints are the key driver of volume loss, with 1.5m kg less bought compared to last year. Steak is also down 6%, contributing 715,000 kg fewer to the category. In volume terms, mince (+1.9%) and marinades (+11%) continue to perform well and have helped hold back the overall decline of beef.”
Ward continues: “Poultry volumes continue to rise, with both Chicken (+0.6%) and Turkey (+12%) growing in volume. Sales of chicken have fallen back slightly with average prices down -0.9%, as the mix of products tends towards cheaper cuts and promotional volumes increase (+4%). Roasting cuts are driving the decline in value terms and strip 11.9m kg out of the category, as there are over 1.9m fewer trips for these products over the period. Breast and leg growth is balancing this decline, with more trips driving both of these cuts. Breast has seen 3.1m more trips fuelled by temporary price reductions (TPRs) and everyday prices. Legs have seen 735,000 more trips and baskets growing by 1.8% which drives up volume. Legs have seen strong promotional support with promoted volumes up 26% as more TPRs help drive the uplift for the cut.”.
Ward, continues: “Chilled fish has managed to continue its long-term return to growth after the declines of last year. We’ve continue to see the trend of more trips driving the growth with 2.1m more trips in the last 12 weeks. Shopper growth remains important with 151,000 more shoppers entering the category. Natural continues to see a strong resurgence with volume up 7.4%, a slight slowdown on last month’s figures, but still seeing 3.3m more trips. Salmon remains the key species driving performance, but basa and sole also contribute growth for the category. Added value continues to struggle with fewer trips and shoppers, as the more affluent shoppers spend less. Salmon is driving the added value decline as shoppers buy more heavily into the natural products.”.
As we discussed last month, great weather and compelling events help to drive the Meat, Fish and Poultry market and we have two European football finals with British interest, the Cricket World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup to look forward to in the next update. Will the weather and these events drive growth, or will we see this decline continue – look out for our next release to find out more.