Festive meat sales see decline compared with 2013

Christmas meat sales were down on last year, despite a last-minute surge from shoppers, according to IRI data.

IRI reported that, for the 2014 six-week Christmas trading period (16 November-27 December) poultry sales were down 5.2% on 2013, while gammon, beef and bacon sales fared slightly better, down 4.1% on the previous year. Whole turkeys performed badly, with sales down 7.2% compared with the same period in 2013.

Overall Christmas sales for the six-week trading period across the 12 Christmas sectors were down on the previous year, but only by -0.2% (7.8m), to a total spend of 4.07bn.

While other sectors recovered sales in a last-minute surge over the fortnight leading up to Christmas, meat sales still were down significantly on 2013.

However, sales of stocks and gravy showed growth over the last two-week period with an overall increase in sales of 0.9%,

Tim Eales, strategic insight director at IRI, commented: The timing of Christmas Day 2014 may have been a significant factor in the way that grocery sales in the supermarkets ramped up towards the end of the Christmas period. Last year we spent 18.4% of our six-week spend on the 12 Christmas super-sectors worth just over 4bn in the final week. This year that rose to 21.7%, with the big day late enough in the week for us to get much of our shopping done in the three days before, particularly for our turkeys.

All in all, looking at the sectors and categories most associated with Christmas, sales in supermarkets recovered to put retailers in a better position than it looked like they might end up four weeks ago.

How was the Christmas period for your business? Get in touch with festive stories by Tweeting @MTJ_Tweet, Facebook or email: eleanor.mackay@wrbm.com.

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