Price inflation drives rise in value for most areas
According to data analyst Kantar, inflation continues to play a large role in the fresh meat, fish, poultry and meat free category’s performance, with the market seeing high average price growth and large drops in volume.
Its data is for the period covering the 12 weeks to 22nd January 2023.
Fresh primary meat and poultry has continued to see value growth (up 8.7%) while chilled fish continues to fall in value (down 1%) although the latter decline is beginning to slow from last period. Fish has seen prices increase by 9.1% year on year, whilst fresh primary meat and poultry is up to an even greater extent, up 10.1%
It reported most proteins struggling with volume again this period, however, chicken managed +1.8% marking the first time it had seen volume growth for a protein category in many months. Beef (up 5.2%) pork (up 11.1%) and chicken (up 18.7%) all saw value growth this period, driven by average price growth. Chicken experienced the highest price growth of all proteins at +16.6% but still retained the cheapest average price point (£4.50/kg), which is a big factor in its popularity with shoppers.
Lamb (down 7.3%) and pork (down 2.7%) have struggled the most in volume terms since last year, although their rates of decline have slowed since last period. The key factor behind lamb’s decline is its position as the protein with the highest average price (£11.25/kg compared to the market average of £6.43). Lamb’s high prices have led to penetration decreasing from 29.8 to 27.1, which is a drop off of 735,000 households.
Pork, however, is one of the cheapest cuts at £5.68/ but sees the second highest price growth rate (up 14.3%) just behind chicken. Pork has struggled on promotion with increasing prices potentially beginning to put shoppers off. Lower prices may re engage shoppers as it remains one of the cheapest cuts around.
The processed market sees similar pattern with an 8.9% increase in value growth. Again, this is largely driven by price, with an increase of 11.7%, higher even than its fresh counterpart at 10.1%. Within processed, areas such as bacon, sausages, and burgers and grills all saw value growth but volume declines. William Guise, client manager at Kantar, said: “These three areas have all seen significant prices rise around the double digit mark so it’s no surprise to see them all experience value growth and volume declines.”
Meat-free and fish
Chilled fish has experienced a 9.4% volume decline and a 1% drop in value performance. It doesn’t help that prices continue to rise; taking it to an average price point of £13.98/kg, and making it the most expensive protein by some distance. Battered is the best performing area at 0.7% in terms of volume.
Fresh meat-free has seen volume fall from last year and was down 11.4%. Given that in the last period the rate of decline was 3.7%, this indicates a change of fortunes for this once fast growing category. The price of fresh meat free has risen by 11.7% meaning it now has a quicker price increase than both fresh primary meat and chilled fish. Kantar said, with a recession looming,
health will become less important to shoppers and price rises seen in meat-free could have a detrimental affect. It said it can certainly see evidence of this despite the role that Veganuary has played for meat-free over the last few years.
Looking ahead to next month, it expects to see prices continue to rise. This has already had an effect on more expensive proteins and the new few months will only see these trends continue as shoppers look to cut costs.