Fresh red meat purchasing habits influenced by consumer preferences

Changing consumer habits play a significant role in the purchasing habits for fresh red meat, according to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC). 

Kantar Worldpanel showed that Great British volume sales of fresh beef increased by 2.3% for the 12 weeks ending 22 May 2016 compared with the same period in 2015. The overall average prices declined as total spend also decreased.

However, there were some anomalies to this pattern for the same timeframe. Volumes of fresh frying/grilling beef bought at retailers rose by 2.4% despite an increase in the average price of the product. Meanwhile, sales of roasting beef declined while the average price also fell.

“It is no surprise that people are spending more on cheaper fresh red meat cuts,” said John Richards, HCC’s industry information executive. “Furthermore, it isn’t a shock that consumers are willing to spend more money on cuts that can be cooked in minutes, as people are opting for quicker meal solutions, due to busy lifestyles and time restrictions.

“This, together with its versatility, explains why beef mince continues to hold the largest share of the market for both volume and spend.”

Lamb sales for this period dropped in volume by 4.5% with a marginal decrease in spend, compared to the same period for last year. HCC claimed the main factor contributing to this was a 4.4% increase in the average price, which stood at 7.83/kg.

Similar to beef, not all lamb cuts followed the same pattern. The volume of lamb chops/steak sold increased by almost 5%, while the average of the product fell by 6%. However, the pattern for leg roasting joints was the opposite, with retailers experiencing an increase in spend and a decrease in volume sold.

“The data presented in the market bulletin shows how economic and lifestyle changes influence purchasing and eating habits,” added Roberts. “It is important that the red meat sector responds and is able to cater for the market.”

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