December 26, 2011


UK beef and pork sales up; high grade beef down


Household purchases of beef and pork in UK are up on last year but sales of top quality roasting beef and stewing beef have fallen in the last three months as consumers feel the pinch of higher prices.


First quality roasting beef suffered the biggest fall by volume, down 20%, while sales of first quality stewing beef fell 15.3%, according to figures from retail analyst Kantar Worldpanel.


"More promotions in beef last year means purchases this year have been hit, but beef will need promotion if we're to see any significant changes in the coming year," said Matt Southam, senior analyst for retail and consumer insight at AHDB.


Overall beef purchases were up 1.5% on the year to November 27, with the biggest gains in frozen pies and puddings, chilled ready meals and fresh pre-packed pasties. Sales of second quality beef also rose.


Pork has seen a rise of 3.2% in the last 52 weeks, with a significant 24.3% increase in chilled ready meals.


Household lamb purchases have fallen by 8.2%, partly as fewer imports from New Zealand has reduced the overall availability of the meat and put retailers under less pressure to promote it.


"We've seen a real boom in chilled ready meals over the past year. As prices continue to rise it seems as though consumers are taking advantage of promotions in convenience food rather than eating out," he said.


"We have seen a long-term trend with consumers switching away from lamb in favour of pork and chicken."

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