Buyers swap other meat and fish for chicken due to cost of living | New


Sales of all meat, fish and poultry categories except chicken have fallen over the past 12 weeks, new data from Kantar has revealed.

Chicken was the only major protein category to show growth in the 12 weeks to June 12, according to the latest data: Total meat, fish and poultry sales fell 5.2% year-on-year and 11.3% compared to two years ago.

Chicken sales remained in the black, but rose only 0.6%. Kantar attributed this to the growing popularity of fresh processed poultry, which grew at a “healthy” rate of 2.4% as shoppers switched to cheaper protein. Total chicken volumes decreased by 9.7%.

“During previous periods when the standard of living has been reduced, there may be changes in the demand for different proteins,” said Glesni Phillips, data analyst at Meat Promotion Wales.

“All proteins are seeing increases in their average prices, but fish remains the most expensive protein, followed by lamb, and despite having one of the biggest price increases, chicken remains the least expensive protein. “

“Product choice is the primary way shoppers choose to manage inflation now, and so shoppers are switching between discounts in order to save money,” Phillips added.

Sales of beef, pork, lamb and fish all fell 7.7%, 5.9%, 14.4% and 8.0% in value respectively. Volume losses (13.7%, 10.6%, 23.7% and 11.6% respectively) were higher thanks to inflation.

Tony Goodger, head of marketing and communications at the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers, suggested that red meat could learn from the poultry sector by “looking at the amount of NPD that chicken has undertaken over the past few years and seeing how their product can follow suit.

“We are also seeing the return of bundles often structured around recent NPD-led poultry products.”

It was difficult to compare the current data with the past two years because of the pandemic’s influence on shoppers’ habits, argued Rebecca Veale, senior policy adviser at the NPA.

However, the continued decline in consumption was causing “uncertainty in the industry”, said BMPA CEO Nick Allen.

This was not an “anti-meat” stance by consumers as other sectors were in a similar situation, he stressed.

“Everyone is just trying to cut back where they can.”

However, the situation was exacerbated by production problems in the context of the labor crisis and retail cutting chains. This has made it harder for retailers and producers to inspire consumers and drive sales, he said.

NPA’s Veale added: “Knowing that consumers like to buy British pork, we do not believe that a reduction in consumption should displace the British product and call on the retail and catering trade to defend British meat and to pay a fair price.

“The AHDB’s campaigns to promote pork as a healthy and nutritious source of protein are fantastic and we support them, but to keep British pork on the shelves a fair price must be paid to producers.”

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