Fish doesn’t flounder as we move into the new year
Christmas may seem a long time ago, but is still impacting the latest Meat, Fish and Poultry (MFP) figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 29th January 2017.
Fish continues to be the growth market in MFP, but despite a return to inflation in the grocery market, value is down in primary meat and poultry, with volume still increasing for all macro markets. Lamb and fish are the key categories in MFP seeing like for like inflation, as the pound’s value against other currencies makes some imports more expensive.
Chilled fish remains the fastest growing macro category and the only one seeing value grow ahead of volume. The worry for the category will be the slowing volume growth as prices rise at a faster rate. Inflation could soon start to affect the future performance of chilled fish as the market becomes relatively more expensive and people’s good intentions to live more healthily wither away further into the New Year.
Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director for MFP explains: “Fish has seen like-for-like inflation as import prices increase and key species are affected by external factors. Salmon yields are a clear example of this with falling stocks driving up prices due to lice and other factors. This hasn’t stopped shoppers entering the market, with 479,000 more compared to last year, but shoppers are buying smaller baskets which could start to impact the market as we move through the year. Added value, shellfish and battered remain the engine of category growth, with natural fish seeing falling volumes as prices increase in key categories, with price per kg of salmon up by 13% and cod by 8%.”
Ward continues: “Beef and chicken volume growth has slowed, driven by smaller baskets and lower prices in the market. Roasting beef has seen a strong decline year an year, particularly over the Christmas period as there was less promotional investment. Mince and steaks are keeping volume buoyant but are under pressure coming into the new year.”
Fresh chicken continues to see a strong performance as 460,000 more shoppers buy the market helping to bring back value growth through breast, leg and roasting birds. Lamb is suffering as joints and steaks become relatively more expensive, particularly compared to other proteins in the competitive meal set for those cuts.
Love is in the air in February and the major retailers have all engaged with meal deals around Valentine’s Day, so with this boost for the market in the next update, will we see more love for lamb, will steaks sizzle or will seafood shine? Find out in our next update in four weeks time!