Consumers opt for meat during lockdown

Consumers opt for meat during lockdown

Negative media surrounding the meat industry fell over the lockdown period, according to analysts from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). Research has revealed that fewer consumers reduced their average consumption of red meat.

The research, which was discussed as part of AHDB’s consumer insight webinar series, also found that more consumers felt the need to comfort eat during lockdown despite more people becoming anxious about the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on their health.

AHDB senior consumer insight manager, Steven Evans, said: “We are all aware of the impact Covid-19 has had on our day-to-day lives, with everything from panic buying in the supermarkets and working from home, to high unemployment and school closures.

“All of this has led many people to re-evaluate their needs and priorities, for both themselves and their families, especially with the added financial pressure of a recession. What we eat and where we shop has seen a dramatic shift over the course of the year.

“It is vital that industry addresses concerns around the environment, communicates the nutritional benefits of red meat, dairy and fresh produce as well as promoting the high welfare and quality of buying British.”

“But what is also interesting is the impact the pandemic has had on our wider concerns around health, the environment and animal welfare – which prior to Covid-19 were key issues, impacting all three sectors.

“We know that a lot of the shifts in buying behaviours are the result of the pandemic and while our sectors have had a reprieve from negative media coverage and enjoyed a year of strong growth, concerns around reputational issues have not disappeared and will rise back up consumer’s radar in the long term.

“It is vital that industry addresses concerns around the environment, communicates the nutritional benefits of red meat, dairy and fresh produce as well as promoting the high welfare and quality of buying British.”

The webinars focused on shifting consumer attitudes towards food during the pandemic. The three hour-long webinars explored how reputational issues impacted buying behaviours during 2020 as well as what prompted the various changes in attitudes and what opportunities exist for industry in the months ahead.

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