Welsh PGI red meat sales hold firm despite “economic pinch”

Welsh PGI red meat sales hold firm despite “economic pinch”

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has revealed that according to data from Kantar, consumers of PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef continue to purchase the red meats despite cost-of-living concerns.

According to data from Kantar, around 85% of consumers reported “enjoyment” as being the motivating force behind red meat purchases.

Avneet Chana, Kantar’s strategic insight director, told the HCC conference back in November 2023 that some 97% of all households were still buying red meat despite the “pressures on the family purse”.

Chana, the head of Kantar’s meat, fish and poultry team, said almost 85% of all red meat was consumed for enjoyment and that this was the motivating force behind sustained sales at a time when most were feeling the “economic pinch”.

She said: “One thing that does come up in every piece of research that we do is that we do things because we enjoy them – and we won’t eat something if we don’t like the taste of it – and red meat ranks really high on consumption for enjoyment.”

HCC’s head of strategic marketing and connections Laura Pickup said the “very high figure” commended the hard work of Welsh farmers. She said it also confirmed the findings of HCC’s Red Meat Development Programme consumer taste trials and “validated the extensive work” carried out on the Welsh lamb and Welsh beef brands in recent years.

“In our taste tests, nearly 2,000 consumers endorsed Welsh lamb’s tenderness, juiciness, flavour and aroma and this survey’s findings show there are thousands who agree with them,” said Pickup.

Red meat sees decreasing price inflation

Kantar’s survey covers around 30,000 UK homes that includes a consumer base that is demographically representative in terms of age, lifestyle and region.

“Our continuous survey shows that only around 28,000 UK households stopped buying red meat in 2023 – but that is a drop in the ocean when you consider we are 60 million people,” said Chana.

She said red meat had increased in price by 11.5% in 2023 which also saw spend increase by 8.9% but volume reduce by 2.4%. Chana said some red meat categories were increasing in sales, including pork ribs (up 9.5%), mince (up 3.1%) and sausages (up 2.2%).

Avneet Chana presenting at the HCC Conference in November 2023.

“To contextualise the price increase, let’s compare it to dairy, for instance, with an increase of 20.8%; meat-free, at around the same – 10.4% – and fresh produce at 8.5%,” she said.

Chana said it was encouraging that price inflation was coming down. “With our survey we were able to get a picture of what people are doing, their shopping trends and how they felt about the economy and whether they were struggling, managing or comfortable.

“We saw more and more say they were struggling and less felt they were comfortable and naturally that had impacts on behaviour – we saw change and people starting to make economies right across the market.”

She concluded: “However, there is now some evidence that behaviour is starting to level off a bit. For the first time in a year, inflation is coming down and that is a landmark moment.”

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