Primary pork market grows to £800 million, says AHDB
AHDB has released its latest analysis of Kantar data on the primary pork market, which shows the market has grown 10.2% year-on-year (YoY) to £800 million.
The growth was measured over the 52 week period ending 9th July 2023, and showed that it was 1.8 percentage points (pp) ahead of the YoY increase for total grocery over the same period.
Average primary pork prices were up by 15.7% YoY to £5.71/kg while in year to 9th July volumes were 4.7% lower. This is 2.1pp higher than the YoY decline for meat, fish and poultry, with majority of sales coming from older shoppers.
Of the meat, fish and poultry market, pork currently makes up 10.6% of volumes, with primary pork making up 14.9% of volumes. In the week ending 9th July, it cost £1.50 less than the average for total primary meat, fish and poultry.
Primary pork loses title of best performing red meat
Until July, primary pork held the title of best performing red meat due to its YoY volume decrease being lower than other primary meats. However, as primary pork prices rise, purchasing volumes have decreased.
According to AHDB, this is due to cost-of-living pressures causing consumers to trade down to cheaper products like mince and sausages as well as cheaper proteins like chicken. A total of 26.3% of all primary pork YoY volume losses were caused by consumers switching to primary chicken, the current cheapest protein on the market at £4.81/kg.
Research from AHDB has previously shown that only 46% of shoppers agree that pork is tasty, while 63% agreed that beef was tasty, and that in times of economic struggle taste becomes more important to shoppers. With beef now performing slightly better than pork, this could be seen as a valid reason for the change in sales.
Customers make the change to pork
Volume growth in mince sales has risen by 17.5%, coming in at £4.98/kg to be declared the cheapest primary pork cut in the year to 9th July and the cheapest mince out of all the red meats. Over a fifth of pork mince’s volume gains have been a result of consumers switching from lamb and beef mince.
The most expensive primary pork cut, pork loin medallions, averaged a price of £7.60/kg in the week ending 9th July. Promotional offers helped its performance, with 38% of volumes sold being part of deals like temporary price reductions.
AHDB highlights that if cost-of-living pressures continue into Christmas, there could be increased demand for pork roasting joints, which are approximately 50% cheaper than beef and lamb joints.