Lamb sales on the up

Lamb sales are on the increase as recession-hit consumers ditch restaurants and ready meals for home-cooked fare.

Results based on the shopping habits of 1.4m Tesco Clubcard customers shows that sales of fresh lamb have gone up 15% in volume during the last 12 months.

Leg of lamb is still the most popular, but sales of minced and diced lamb have grown by 30% as consumers seek out cheaper options.

The study was carried out as part of an initiative by the National Farmers Union (NFU), the Institute of Grocery Distribution and Kent Business School, to provide farmers and growers with insights into the shopping behaviour of UK consumers.

It had some key findings for livestock producers when it came to who was buying what type of meat and where they lived. For instance, it found that the market still struggles to attract adults aged 20-39, and that the type and cuts of lamb bought varies regionally and between age groups, with minced, diced and joints most popular in London, while steaks go best in Lancashire.

It also revealed that lamb consumers are increasingly ethically aware, with one-in-five shoppers stating they base their choice on welfare standards and half saying they want to buy more local produce.

A spokesperson for the NFU said: Whether selling lamb directly or through a supply chain, understanding which shoppers are more likely to buy fresh lamb is crucial. This allows farmers to develop their businesses to meet the changing needs of consumers and ensure their products are relevant.

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