Chicken consumption declines for 2016 BBQ season

Figures for Kantar Worldpanel have shown that chicken consumption during the BBQ period experienced a fall in 2016, compared to the previous year.

The change in the consumer landscape has been highlighted as a contributing factor in the drop in chicken, which saw a decline of 6.3 million (m) occasions compared to 2015. The meat reflected 21.1% of meat consumption for the BBQ category in 2016.

According to Kantar, typically the main BBQ customer driving the BBQ occasion is the adult, which represents three-quarters (76%) of all consumption. However, family occasions grew to 50% last year, taking 2% from the adult-only occasions.

Beef burgers and sausages represented the most popular meats in the category, making up 27.3% and 27% respectively, for the 52 weeks ending December 2016.

The popularity of beef burgers increased. For 2016, they was enjoyed on 31.5m occasions as opposed to 23.7m the previous year. However, sausages dropped slightly from 33.6m occasions in 2015 to 31.1m in 2016.

Other beef products finished after chicken in popularity, taking 9.8% of the market share, with pork making up 7.9%, lamb 4.9%, and fish 4.6%.

Overall, the BBQ occasion saw an uplift, attributed to the warm temperature.

The summer of 2016 saw an increase in the mean temperature with the MET Office hailing an Indian summer, said Sam Sear, analyst for Kantar Worldpanel.

This higher temperature benefited the BBQ occasion, resulting in a total of 115m individual occasions, an increase of 9m on 2015. The growth can be attributed to weekday occasions as those on a weekend declined, making it key for convenience outlets to have the right offering in their stores on those days.

He added that the time of year people had BBQs last year was later than usual, with most people lighting the grill in August in contrast to earlier peaks in the previous two years.

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