Fresh primary meat sales decline as consumers make fewer shopping trips

Fresh primary meat sales decline as consumers make fewer shopping trips

The latest figures from Kantar show that fresh primary meat, including beef and lamb, has experienced declines in sales attributed to fewer shoppers taking fewer trips.

According to the data, fresh primary meat and poultry spend has fallen 8.2% in the latest 12 weeks, down £124 million compared to last year, as sales struggle to compete with strong performance during the second national lockdown. By contrast, comparisons with two years ago show the market to be up 5.7% in value terms.

Volume sales of these categories are also falling at a fast rate with higher prices shown to be the key to spend performance. Volume sales declined by 10.9% compared to last year but just edge into growth (+ 0.7%) when compared with two years ago.

Beef is the key contributor to category performance and has had the biggest decline of the key fresh primary proteins, with sales falling by 10.5%. Lamb also contributes strongly to the decline (-9.9%). According to Kantar, all proteins have seen declining shopper numbers, bar other poultry compared to last year.

Fresh processed meat and poultry was also hit by year-on-year losses but at a much slower rate, with decline of 2.5% for spend (-£24m) and 5.5% for volume sales, demonstrating the impact of price inflation.

Spend losses for bacon (-13.5%), sausages (-6.7%) and burgers and grills (-4.0%) have been offset to some degree by growth in the largest processed meat sector, fresh processed poultry, which has grown by 8%. Fresh processed poultry maintained similar growth levels to the two-year comparison where it is up 11.1% versus 2019 spend sales. Kantar said: “With spend outpacing volume it’s clear, again, that inflation is playing a part in driving growth.”

Ready-meals on the rise

Stewart Wise, consumer insight director, Kantar Worldpanel, said: “As time pressures build following a return to the workplace, many shoppers are turning once more to practical, easier, time-saving ways of preparing meals, helping added value and ready prepared meals. Whilst some lockdown behaviours such as more scratch cooking will be retained, less time means shoppers will opt for practicality as a motivation to purchase. However, further lockdowns could change this scenario once again.”

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