Inflation finally pumps up value sales
In the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 21st May 2017, the Meat, Fish and Poultry market (MFP) saw volume growth across all sectors. Inflation is beginning to have more of an impact on the market, but still not to the same level seen in the wider grocery market.
Chilled fish continues to see the strongest price inflation, but processed meat and poultry are also seeing rising prices. We know that consumers are feeling the pinch, with the average household spending an additional £27 on groceries over the past 12 weeks. This will be affecting shoppers in different ways, but is likely to cause people to trade down on staples. But are they buying cheaper products in the same sector, or moving into different proteins?
The primary meat and poultry market is seeing some interesting dynamics at the moment. Chicken continues its volume growth and is closing in on red meat sales overall. Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director for MFP explains: “Chicken’s popularity continues to increase. Dishes are driving growth in meals and the versatility of chicken is an important part of its appeal. Chicken has seen 4.8m more trips compared to last year, which is driving the volume growth. Prices have dropped, driven by a change in the sector mix, falling prices in whole birds, and a reduction in promotions which are down a third compared to last year. Breast, legs and whole birds are the key categories for growth”.
Beef has tipped into volume decline in the latest period, driven by smaller baskets, as mince and marinades grow in importance and roasts lose volume sales after a slower Easter performance. Chilled fish remains the fastest growing market in value terms, but is experiencing volume losses in previously buoyant sectors. Nathan Ward explains: “We’ve said it before, but inflation continues to be a large part of the value growth in chilled fish.
Volume growth is slowing as prices continue to hit some shoppers. What is more surprising is that it isn’t the most hard pushed shoppers reducing volume, but ABs and younger shoppers - particularly young families”. Natural fish is the most affected market, with volume down 4%, but prices up 13.5%. We are seeing 490,000 fewer shoppers buying into natural fish, showing the impact of these price rises. Mackerel is seeing the heaviest impact with both value and volume down as prices rise 23%. Smoked fish is seeing the strongest volume decline in salmon and kippers, as 540,000 fewer shoppers buy the category. Prices have risen 16% this year, as base prices rise and promotional volumes halve. Shellfish is the one sector in value decline, but volumes remain up, as prices fall 9% compared to last year. Prawns dominate shellfish and are driving the value decline.
The processed meat and poultry market has continued to grow strongly, with value growing ahead of volume. Fresh processed poultry continues to be the standout performer in this market, with 625,000 more shoppers buying the market driving 6.7m more trips to the category. The growth is driven by older shoppers, particularly more C2DEs. The great weather in April and a mild, dry May look to have encouraged more BBQs, with sausages continuing their strong performance through more shoppers making bigger trips. Promotions in sausages continue to fall, but with BBQ promotions back on the agenda, we are seeing more Y for £X promotions coming into the market.
National BBQ Week will be part of our next market update. Will we see a smoking performance from burgers, or will the damp Bank Holiday extinguish our fire for sausages? Find in four weeks time!