Fish doesn’t flounder as winter sets in
The latest Meat, Fish and Poultry (MFP) figures from Kantar Worldpanel are published today, for the 12 weeks ending 8th November 2015. Only Chilled Fish is showing value growth at a macro category level. Chilled Fish is seeing value grow ahead of volume with an extra 340,000 shoppers buying the category.
As Winter starts to set in, we are seeing more shoppers buying more often, with comforting Added Value fish products, such as Pies, Prawns and Haddock dishes driving the growth. Older post family households are the powerhouse behind the Added Value performance and key to Fish overall. Natural Fish remains the largest sector and is seeing volume growing ahead of value, despite the promotional levels in the category falling. Natural Fish growth is coming from Salmon and Mackerel, with both being purchased by significantly more shoppers than last year.
Unfortunately, despite widespread publicity, British Sausage week didn’t sizzle as much as we hoped, with the depressed take home sales continuing. A disappointing summer didn’t extend the BBQ season into the autumn, unlike last year. Even so, Burgers & Grills grew strongly over the same period, led by families with younger children. The category attracted an additional 546,000 shoppers over the period, in contrast to Sausages which lost 240,000.
When we look into Primary Meat & Poultry, Pork continues to decline in both value and volume. Pork is still seeing shoppers leaving the category, with 560,000 fewer households buying compared to last year. Pork promotional levels are falling slightly, but on average is getting cheaper as the mix of cuts change, and base prices fall. Chops and Leg Joints are driving the decline, whilst Steaks have seen a slight growth in volume terms.
Lamb saw a really strong performance in the last 12 weeks compared to 2014, primarily through a strong performance from Leg Roasting Joints. Shoppers have bought Lamb more often over the period making 1.45 million more trips. Empty Nesters and Retired shoppers remain the key market for Lamb accounting for 56% of volume despite growing behind the category.
Recently, the hot topic in MFP has been the World Health Organisation report on Red & Processed Meats, published in late October. Whilst there has been a lot of press about the report and speculation on its impact, it’s too early to for us to isolate any causal effect on the market.
The next data release will be out in 4 weeks time. Will we see Christmas come early in to the market this year and stimulate value in Primary and Processed Meats?