The UK red meat industry is enjoying a renaissance having sustained a good growth track since 2004 recording gains in both volume (3.3%) and value (5.3%) a recent report from market analyst Mintel reveals.
The research states that the market for red meat is worth £2.9b in 2006, with beef the largest red meat market, accounting for more than 53% of total value sales.
An increased consumer interest in good food and a willingness to devote more time to meal preparation is behind volume growth in the red meat market, the report states.
The report also reveals that there is a strong, and partially unsatisfied, demand for organic meat.
The market for premium meats is growing strongly, including those based on specific livestock breeds; regional brands; organic meat; meats that have been matured for longer; and those that are prepared to a ready-to-cook state.
There has been a substantial increase in promotional spend on the category mainly driven by the launch of the English Quality Standard Meat by EBLEX during 2006.
Multiple retailers continue to dominate red meat distribution and continue to take share from traditional butchers but there has been growth, in direct sales, for example from farmers' markets, the internet and farm shops.
The report concludes that future growth will be based on growth in the premium segment driven by continuing consumer interest in home cooking and by increasing consumer knowledge and experience of the characteristics and production values of different types of red meats.