Sales of premium meat cuts up during lockdown
Sales of steaks and roasting joints have soared in 2021 as locked-down Brits sought to recreate a ‘restaurant experience’ at home, according to new data from Kantar.
The purchase volume of premium red meat cuts rose sharply in the 12 weeks to February as the country re-entered one of its toughest lockdowns since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The sales of beef steaks (+36%), beef roasting joints (+26%) and lamb steaks and chops (+15%) are now all significantly up in demand.
In contrast, the sales of cheaper cuts failed to keep pace, as beef mince, usually one of the country’s favourite cuts, only managed a 13% increase in volume compared to the 37% increase seen in the 12 weeks to May 2020.
Mince was one of the most in demand meat products at the start of the pandemic as Brits focused on cooking simple and familiar dishes while at home, however, these new results suggest a significant shift as people seek out more interesting and higher quality produce.
“The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to re-evaluate the decisions we make about food and to think carefully about the impact our choices have on our health and on the planet.”
The results of a nationwide survey of 2,000 meat-eaters has revealed that 33% of us now say we’re prepared to spend more money on higher quality cuts than we were prior to Covid-19. When asked about their primary motivation when shopping for meat, 39% said quality was their top priority compared to 26% who said cost.
Welsh beef and lamb producers have also seen a surge in demand as more people regard their meat to have higher environmental standards and to be of a better quality. 41% of us agree that Welsh livestock farming is of a higher environmental standard than other countries, compared to just 12% who disagree.
This shift has also been felt clearly on the high-street, with local butchers now accounting for 12.1% of total spend on lamb in 2020, as opposed to 9.9% in 2019. Over a fifth of us (22%) say we would prioritise heading to the local butcher to purchase meat, with the main reason being quality of produce (51%), while 38% said that their main motivation for visiting would be to support local business.
42% of people now feel more confident cooking with red meat than they did prior to Covid-19, and will continue to cook these dishes after lockdown has ended.
Gwyn Howells, chief executive of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, commented: “The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to re-evaluate the decisions we make about food and to think carefully about the impact our choices have on our health and on the planet. It’s therefore extremely encouraging to see such strong results in the premium end of the market and evidence that we are making more informed choices.
“Through choosing to buy quality ingredients such as Welsh Lamb, we are not only choosing a product that tastes good, but making an environmental decision through knowing that the meat has been produced in a sustainable way by trusted farmers.
“As a nation, we have spent the last year mostly at home, eating together as households. As we emerge from lockdown, I hope that we will continue to see many of these positive behaviours, such as caring about the quality of the food we buy, persist long into the future”.
Sales of meat have proved especially robust throughout the coronavirus pandemic, despite many people saying they intend to reduce their overall meat consumption, with total beef sales over the last 12 weeks up 19% and up 15% for lamb compared to the same period last year.