Meat and poultry dips as fish reels in the customers

Fresh primary meat and poultry sales have taken a hammering for the 12 weeks to 9 October, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel Meat, Fish and Poultry (MFP) figures.

In value terms the category was down 5.7% compared to the same period in 2015, with volume remaining static. All of the main proteins saw a dip in value sales, with other red meat seeing a 27.4% value sales drop and pork seeing a 12.7% decline. On the volume side, it was only chicken that saw growth (6.4%).

Nathan Ward, business unit director for MFP, said: Chicken has the fastest volume growth in Primary Meat & Poultry with half a million more shoppers buying more often this year. Breasts and legs are still the categories stimulating volumes in chicken, with growth coming from non-promoted sales driving volumes. Fresh beef has moved into decline despite falling prices, with shoppers repertoires slightly smaller this year. Roasts are driving the decline and may have been affected by the unseasonably temperate weather compared with last year. Mince growth has slowed, but steak continues to perform strongly through non-promoted sales.

It was a similar story for fresh processed meat and poultry, with all but burgers and grills seeing a value sales decline. A late summer saw that sub-category grow 5.3% in value sales for the period.

Fish has been the success story of the 12-week period, with chilled fish growing 7.4% in value terms and 5% in volume terms. Added value saw almost 10% increases in both value (9.3%) and volume (8.4%) while shellfish saw the highest value sales rise of the entire sector (18%).

Added-value and shellfish products are both growing ahead of the market and helping to drive up prices. 860,000 more shoppers have bought into added-value fish this period, buying more prawn, salmon and cod products. Prawns are also driving the growth in shellfish with 640,000 more shoppers buying them compared to last year.

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