The killer question

Richard Ali, chief executive of EBLEX has criticised the tactics of multiple retailers who slash the price of meat through special offers or two-for-one price promotions.

It comes in the light of new EBLEX data which shows that although sales of fresh and frozen meat in England are up 4% in the 52-week period ending 16 July, expenditure on meat is up just 2%.

"Who ultimately pays for price promotions is always the killer question," said Ali, who urged the industry to "ask itself whether increasing retail price promotion activity is compatible with securing a long-term future for the UK red meat industry". Ali cited research by the MLC and data from TNS Worldpanel showing that, by May this year, nearly 29% of fresh beef was being sold on some sort of price promotion - up 12% on the same time last year.

"If price promotions grow sustainable sales then clearly the entire chain can benefit," said Ali. "However, consumer research has shown that in general beef is something consumers will purchase anyway and that price promotion on beef is not a driver of extra sales."

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