More than half of mealtimes include meat as a “staple”

More than half of mealtimes include meat as a “staple”

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has found that according to Kantar Usage panel, meat remains a “mealtime staple” for families.

Kantar data showed 27.8% of lunch and evening meals featured red meat, while sandwiches remained the top choice for lunches.

The trade body said that meat had risen in popularity within both lunch and evening meals despite the “continued pressure” of rising food prices during the last year. According to Kantar, 53.1% of mealtimes feature meat, fish and poultry while 27.8% of lunch and evening meal occasions feature red meat, up from 27.6% a year ago.

AHDB observed more consumers choosing to include meat in their lunches compared to before the Covid pandemic in 2019, packing food items like cooked meats, pies and sandwiches. The data showed that the sandwich was still the number one choice for lunch, being chosen on over 35% of occasions, and soup came in second on 7.3% of occasions.

Looking at the data, it was found that over the last five years, consumers have chosen to have more hot meals during the day, with more consumers having hot breakfasts (up 1.4%) and hot lunches (up 3%) compared to Kantar data from 2019.

Cost-of-living concerns change consumer buying habits

Cost-of-living concerns caused consumers to turn to alternative meat cuts to save money, said AHDB, with trends showing people are making more versatile, nutrient rich Italian and Indian dishes featuring meat for the whole family to enjoy.

The data showed that cost conscious consumers now have “an overwhelming desire” for their meals to be filling, with AHDB stating that this increased from 27.5% to 29.2% over the last four years. It said consumers are “increasingly choosing cheaper carbohydrates” like rice and pasta to bulk out their meals, aiming to use up cupboard stocks and are also pre-planning meals to avoid wastage.

Vanessa Adamson, AHDB retail and consumer insight manager, said: “There is a real opportunity for red meat growth within in-home and family dining if we continue to highlight meaty meals that are easy to prepare and part of a healthy balanced diet.”

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