Consumer spending more on meat during pandemic

Consumer spending more on meat during pandemic

The red meat market has fared well during the Covid-19 pandemic with an increase in grocery spending offsetting losses to the hospitality and foodservice sectors, according to new market research from AHDB.

Market analysts discussed the impact of the pandemic on these sectors in a series of webinars which revealed that the virus has led to a major shift in consumer buying and consumption behaviours, leading to changes in how people cook and feed their families.

Over the last six months, pork, beef and lamb have seen a significant uplift in retail sales. For lamb, takeaway and delivery gains have also bolstered overall volumes, compensating for eating-out losses.

In retail, beef and pork grew in line with the market, with beef up 12% and pork rising 11%. Lamb has seen smaller growth at 0.4%, however, this covers a lockdown Easter and prior to Covid-19, volumes were down 6%.

“We predict the eating out market will not recover any time soon, especially in light of the new restrictions announced at the weekend, but the retail and takeaway markets will continue to grow.”

AHDB senior retail insight manager, Kim Malley, said: “To say that this year has been a challenge would be an understatement, but we have seen that meat, dairy and potatoes have made an incredible response to the shift in consumer demand.

“While eating-out has been severely affected by the pandemic and led to restaurants and cafes closing overnight, the retail spend on red meat, potatoes and dairy has been strong enough to offset many of the losses.”

These findings were revealed during AHDB’s first series of Consumer Insight webinars which looked at the changing food markets in the UK. The Consumer Insight webinars will continue on the 10th, 11th and 12th November and will look at some of the industry reputational issues impacting consumer demand, such as buying British, the environment, health and animal welfare.

Kim Malley added: “Our webinars not only provided an overview on volume performance, it also highlighted the many opportunities that exist to help increase market share for all sectors.

“We predict the eating out market will not recover any time soon, especially in light of the new restrictions announced at the weekend, but the retail and takeaway markets will continue to grow. Therefore, it is vital that we make the most of these channels to grow volumes of all our sectors.”

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