Pigs fly as pork products see volume growth
Christmas adverts have been hitting our TV screens this November and summer seems like a distant memory, despite some unseasonably warm weather. In the 12 weeks to 4 November we’ve seen fresh primary meat and poultry move into growth after a few difficult months.
The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel show value sales have increased by 2.6%, and chilled fish is the only meat, fish and poultry category which is growing ahead of the overall grocery market. Much of the grocery growth has come through smaller top up trips, which increased at twice the rate of larger trolley shops. This is an area of opportunity for many MFP markets.
Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director, MFP, explains: “Primary meat and poultry and chilled fish are the key areas seeing growth, with pork, chicken and turkey driving the meat and poultry category, whilst chilled fish is boosted by natural and smoked products. We know that the summer uplift seen in the processed categories is leaving the market, but that doesn’t completely explain the slower growth year-on-year.”
Ward, continues: “Red meat continues to see decline in beef, but lamb’s volume decline has slowed and pork has returned to volume growth - driven by 419,000 more trips compared to last year. The key cuts driving this are pork steaks and shoulder joints – up 14% and 34% respectively – as a result of greater use of promotions and the change of season. Value sales of pork are in decline despite the volume growth, as prices fall across all major cuts with prices down 2.6% on average. Pork continues to win in volume overall, as the key protein dominating the more processed categories of bacon and sausages.”
Lamb has seen a surge in popularity as leg joints (up 19%), steaks (up 6%) and stewing cuts (up 6%) see volume growth, but even with these categories growing we are seeing and overall volume decline with 1.15m fewer trips for lamb compared to last year. Chicken remains the strong performer of the big four proteins with 3.8m more trips to the category, with whole birds returning to growth alongside breasts, legs and wings.
Ward continues: “Chilled fish has bounced back after a tough year with renewed growth in both value and volume. This period sees the return to volume growth for added value lines, whilst natural and smoked fish continues to be popular with consumers – having featured in 1.7m more baskets and been picked up by 180,000 more shoppers than last year. Older and upmarket shoppers are key to its popularity, while shoppers in the young families and empty nester groups are increasing spend at a faster rate. Salmon is boosting chilled fish, with growth in volume up 10%, driven by natural and smoked salmon. Natural salmon is up 18% with 2.1m more trips and 644,000 more shoppers - with promotions up 40% and a return to Y for £X deals. Smoked salmon is up 20%, as shoppers added it to 1.5m more baskets and base prices fall.”
There is only one more update before Christmas and we can already see the demand for turkey soaring. What will happen once polar winds hit the British Isles? Will roasts return, will steaks sizzle? Stay tuned for our next update in 4 weeks’ time.