Meat sales benefit from consumer keeness for entertaining

Sales of red meat and poultry are benefiting from consumer keenness on home entertaining and cooking from scratch, according to a new survey.

Volume value sales have also been boosted as suppliers have introduced more ready-to-cook variants (ready prepared and marinated meats), which offer convenience and are promoted on quality, reveals Mintel's British Lifestyles Survey.

Although large volumes of red meat and poultry are still commodity-driven products, market value is steadily rising with increasing demand for premium products. This, the Mintel survey, says include specific livestock and poultry breeds, organic products and longer matured meats. This, it concludes, along with a concern for provenance goes hand in hand with consumer concern for food production methods and the environment.

The rise in sales of organic foods is pushing up imports - a potential area of conflict for the environmentally aware shopper, Mintel added.

The processed meats sector - bacon, sausages and prepacked deli products - has also benefited from premiumisation. The other main trend has been to greater variety and choice. These twin trends are driving value and value growth, making processed meats an appropriate choice as a recipe ingredient as well as a snack or part of a salad.

Mintel's research found that consumers are often happy to shift between commodity and premium products, according to the event or as financial circumstances dictate. Suppliers could promote value sales by giving consumers a real reason to trade up, for instance by using organic or premium-quality ingredients.

ABs are the most likely to be concerned with how and where food is sourced. What happens at the premium sector tends to influence the development of the middle if not mass market so spreading the demand for quality through the market.

Mintel's research found that four in 10 consumers are prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly products, so there is every incentive, it says for restaurants to source and promote such ingredients. This trend could be found in The Gaucho Grill with its steaks and burgers at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

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