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Some early Christmas cheer as MFP value and volume grow



Some early Christmas cheer as MFP value and volume grow

The market is responding in the run up to Christmas by expanding itself, as in the 12 weeks to 2nd December we’ve seen fresh primary meat and poultry continue to return to value and volume growth.

The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel show that the festive spirit isn’t necessarily lifting the grocery market with the market growing at 2%, its slowest rate since March 2017. Lamb, chicken, turkey and chilled fish are all growing value ahead of grocery, so are important markets to help drive growth in grocery, which is a really positive picture considering the pressures on the market over much of 2018.

Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director, MFP, explains: “Primary meat, poultry and chilled fish are the key areas seeing growth, with chicken and turkey driving the meat and poultry category, whilst chilled fish is boosted by natural and smoked products. Processed markets are seeing a real slowdown after a strong summer performance, with bacon particularly under pressure. We expect to see bacon sales rise towards Christmas as shoppers buy into gammon and the extra weekend before Christmas helps drive consumption of cooked breakfasts. Christmas is coming early as turkey starts to see its annual surge in sales, with volumes up almost 20% compared to the same period last year”

Ward, continues: “Red meat continues the decline we saw last month, driven by the core cuts of joints, mince and steaks. This has left the beef category seeing 2.2m fewer trips to the category. Promotions are down in joints and steaks, but mince is seeing the decline driven by non-promoted sales as the core shoppers, who are older dependents, empty nesters and retired households, buy significantly less volume. Lamb’s value performance has turned around, but volumes are still down as chops, shoulders and mince all decline.”.

Chicken remains the strong performer of the big four proteins with 413,000 more shoppers and 3.9m more trips to the category. Chicken breasts and legs are still the strongest performers, through more non-promoted trips driving the growth. Chicken is benefitting from the versatility of the protein and its alignment with the growing dishes in the market.

Ward continues: “Chilled fish has bounced back after a tough year with stronger growth in both value and volume. This period sees the return to volume growth for all sectors except shellfish, which is a real bonus for a category that has had a tough few years. We’ve seen 318,000 more shoppers and 1.8m more trips as shoppers flow back into the category. Christmas is traditionally a strong time for smoked salmon and shellfish, so hopefully the demand will help to turn around the performance of shellfish. The category has lost 846,000 baskets year on year, driven by prawns and crab.”

Our next update will cover the all important Christmas period, will turkey win Christmas dinner or will red meat bounce back? Are we all going veggie for Christmas? Whatever happens, I’d like to say thanks for reading our MFP updates each month and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, stay tuned for our Christmas update in four weeks’ time.

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Nathan Ward

Business Unit Director


+44 (0) 208 967 4432

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