Shoppers turn to discount stores for meat

As purse strings tighten, discount supermarkets have become the number one place to buy fresh meat.

Research by AHDB Meat Services has revealed that stores such as Aldi and Lidl have overtaken more established multiples on fresh meat spend.

AHDB senior Market Analyst Sue Fisher said: "Aldi and Lidl outperformed all other retailers in terms of increased spending on fresh meat, although fresh meat only accounted for only 2% of total food and drink expenditure in discount stores."

Compared with 2007, Lidl's meat sales were up 47% in the 12 weeks to mid-August 2008 with households purchasing 44% more meat than a year ago.

"The range of fresh meat cuts available in discount stores is much narrower than that offered by the large multiples and in the main tends to be the cheaper cuts. As a result, the average price of meat sold in discounters is less than that in other retailers," added Fisher.

Overall, meat sales have dropped by 3% year-on-year. People are also favouring cheaper cuts of meat such as beef mince, stewing beef and pork chops.

According to AHDB statistics, people who buy fresh meat from discount stores tend to be older, in the post family stage and have no children at home - although more younger shoppers with children are buying fresh meat at these stores too.

Fisher said: "There is potential for the discounters to increase their fresh meat sales. Although Lidl and Aldi are not a threat to the big UK retailers, they do provide serious competition to the likes of Iceland and other low-cost multiples."

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