Lamb in ‘strong position’ after increased Christmas sales
The latest figures from Kantar have shown that British consumers spent £662.5 million on lamb in 2021, 1.5% more than the previous year and 12.6% more than 2019.
According to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), the retail data shows lamb in a strong position heading into the New Year. HCC data analyst Glesni Phillips said: “The popularity of lamb among British shoppers is substantially higher now than it was two years ago before the Covid pandemic. Although sales are slightly below the 2020 peak in terms of volume, spending on lamb has continued to grow across most types of cuts and products.”
She continued: “Given the tight supply and high farmgate prices during much of 2021 it’s not surprising that there has been some upward movement in the retail price in the short term, and this may be part of the reason for the increased popularity of more economic products such as mince, where sales are up more than 20% as against 2019.”
Lamb leg roasting joints performed well at retail when compared to Christmas 2020, with the volume of meat sold up 1.2%, and 6% higher than Christmas 2019.
While the overall volume of lamb sold at GB retailers in 2021 was 3% down on the bumper year of 2020 at 63,350 tonnes, the meat’s popularity among shoppers remains above pre-pandemic levels, with the volume of lamb bought in 2021 exceeding that of 2019 by 2.4%.
Mixed results for red meat
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) commented that total meat, fish and poultry (MFP) saw declines in both value and volume in comparison to last Christmas, but both are up on 2019 levels.
During the four weeks ending 26th December 2021, 98% of households purchased MFP, resulting in a retail value of £1.9 billion. Red meat category spend on roasting joints was up 2.2% year-on-year over the same period, compared to a slight spend decline for total grocery. According to AHDB, this growth was driven by increases in average price through the premium tier, as overall volumes saw a decline year-on-year.
Pork saw shopper numbers increase by 13.3% compared to 2019, with the main driver of growth coming from new shoppers to pork roasting joints.
This year beef roasting joints were unable to reach the same level of sales as Christmas 2020. However, total beef was in growth in comparison to 2019 with growth coming from more everyday cuts such as mince and burgers.