Butchers, burgers and sausage sales soar
According to the latest Kantar data, traditional barbecue meat sales surged during lockdown as people took advantage of the persistent dry weather and independent retailers benefitted from an extra 300,000 shoppers.
Burgers (up 51.6%) and sausages (up 47.4%) have registered huge growth rates in the four weeks to 17th May, with combined sales up by £40m. A massive four weeks for processed meats was helped immensely by the buoyancy of the bacon sector (41.6%), which it claims is benefiting from consumers turning to other options for breakfast and lunch.
This continued strong run for processed meats sits alongside the impressive growth of sales in butchers (300,00 additional shoppers) and online retailers with the latter attracting 5 million meat, fish and poultry shoppers in the latest four weeks reflecting the fact many are buying locally or were looking for online deliveries.
Andy Crossan, strategic insight director, Kantar, said: “We’d typically treat ourselves more when eating away from the home, therefore it comes as no surprise that a large amount of consumers are treating themselves with barbecues and processed meats during these tough times.”
17 million more barbecues were held in the four weeks to 19th April compared with the same time period last year generating an extra £70m of spend in the process.
Crossan continued: “Given this happened even before the bumper period of sunshine in early May, we can expect to see even more al fresco dining, with gatherings starting to return as lockdown travel measures are eased, and outside space remains vital during social distancing.”
As well as dining outside, lockdown behaviours continue to evolve with hot meals growing at almost double the speed of cold meals at lunchtime.
“Steak dinner occasions have nearly doubled during lockdown,” explained Crossan, “so the signs are there that consumers are bringing their out of home consumption behaviour into the home which is much needed for the industry while the profitable foodservice sector is still largely out of commission.”
Four-fifths of in-home food servings are being consumed for enjoyment purposes showing significant growth importance compared with the same period in 2019 revealed Kantar. Promotions, meanwhile, continue to play a diminished role, with only 25.3% of volume sold on deal for meat, fish and poultry in the four weeks to 17th May compared to 32.3% in the same period last year.
Crossan ended: “How consumers continue to respond during this difficult economic time will be vital to understand. The last recession showed that health tends to play less of a role in consumers’ choices when budgets are tighter, and we’re certainly seeing evidence of that so far.”