A report from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has been published, finding that the red meat value tier has grown by 35.6% year-on-year.

Raw steaks

The report stated that a large proportion of consumers saw meat and dairy to be preferable to plant-based products.

The report said that consumers were more likely to choose lighter meals in the summer, opting for comfort foods in the colder months. Healthier alternatives and lighter meals were more common in the summer months, contrary to popular belief (Kantar Usage 4 w/e 22nd January 2023 vs 4 w/e 6th August 2023).

AHDB highlighted that within the report, it is shown that health being cited as a reason for consumption has experienced "consecutive decline" since May 2022, and with costs rising, consumers were reported to have traded down to value tier products.

The value tier within red meat has grown by 35.6% year-on-year, as milk and cheese volumes grew by 56.3% and 56.7% respectively. While over 78% of consumers choose their food and drink for enjoyment, it was reported that this increases to 83.8% for meat, fish and poultry (Kantar Usage, 52 w/e 3rd September 2023).

Meat and dairy preferable to plant-based products

Looking at health, the report said that consumers opted for more natural foods with added health benefits. This is supported by a Mintel report stating that 70% of UK consumers say they try to avoid ultra-processed foods (Attitudes Towards Healthy Eating UK 2023, Base: 2,000 internet users aged 16+).

Confirming this was AHDB's research by Blue Marble, in which a "large proportion" of consumers see meat and dairy to be preferable to plant-based products for both health and value across all age ranges. Meat-free products were reported to have remained a small part of the market, with a 2% volume share (Kantar).

Vanessa Adamson, AHDB's retail and consumer insight manager, said: “There is a real opportunity to promote the natural health benefits of both red meat and dairy to provide accurate information and reassurance for all consumers.

“AHDB’s recent ‘THIS and THAT’ campaign champions the art of balanced eating, blending a bit of this with a bit of that to showcase the role of meat and dairy in a well-rounded, healthy and nutritious diet.

"Campaigns like this one highlight that British beef, lamb, and dairy aren’t just delicious; they’re naturally rich in protein and a source of vitamin B12, which can help reduce tiredness and fatigue as part of a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle.”

This story was originally published on a previous version of the Meat Management website and so there may be some missing images and formatting issues.