Sales of red meat are up as warm weather hits the UK
This month’s Meat Fish and Poultry (MFP) update, covering the 12 weeks to 22nd April, shows a stronger value performance. The recent mini heatwave and an earlier launch of barbecue lines has helped to stimulate the fresh processed meat and poultry sales, whilst chilled fish volumes continue to fall.
As noted in our latest Grocery Market Share, the grocery market is growing at its slowest rate in a year. Inflation is slowing and we are seeing signs of this happening in MFP as well.
Because of the Easter period sales of red meat were up, with roasting products seeing good growth. Taking a closer look at the primary meat and poultry proteins at a 12-week level shows chicken and beef, were up and turkey, lamb and pork were in decline.
Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director for MFP, explains: “The underlying health of the market is strong with 1.6m more trips driving growth. Shopper numbers remain strong, with 9 out of 10 shoppers buying into the market in the last 3 months. The trips are smaller though, as consumers have increasingly wider options available to them for their evening meals. Sales of beef are up again as 370,000 more shoppers make trips with mince and marinades leading the category. When we compare Easter on Easter, we do see a much stronger performance for roasts, but not enough to offset the slower performance at the start of the year.”
Ward continues: “The real growth in the market continues to be processed meats which have moved away from the long term performance decline of the last few years. Processed poultry is the driver of performance, but bacon, burgers and grills have contributed against the back drop of a tough market. Bacon rashers are back on the menu, with a return to Y for £X multi-buys (up 20%) which help stimulate bigger baskets and drive bacon growth.”
Burgers and grills benefitted from 300,000 more shoppers as an earlier barbecue season takes hold this year. The engine of growth remains processed poultry adding 3.2m more baskets this year. New product development is important in all of these categories and continued promotional support has really helped stimulate sales.
Classic traditional favourites such as breaded and battered fish saw growth in volumes as natural and added value categories saw sales drop. Inflation remains a key factor in driving decisions in this market, with category decline from existing shoppers buying less or spending elsewhere.
Will the early May heatwave drive barbecue sales through the roof, or will we see MFP sales slow as we eat more salads and eat al fresco? Find out in our next update in 4 weeks’ time.
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