Discount stores prime place for meat

Discount supermarkets are now the number one place to buy fresh meat, according to findings, as the nation's purse strings tighten during current economic difficulty.

Stores such as Aldi and Lidl have now overtaken more established multiples as the place for spending on fresh meat, according to a publication by AHDB Meat Services.

AHDB senior market analyst Sue Fisher said: "Aldi and Lidl outperformed all other retailers in terms of increased spending on fresh meat, although fresh meat accounted for only 2% of total food and drink sales in discount stores."

Compared with 2007, Lidl's meat sales were up 47% in the 12 weeks to mid-August 2008 with households purchasing 44% more meat than a year ago.

"The range of fresh meat cuts available in discount stores is much narrower than that offered by the large multiples and, in the main, tends to be the cheaper cuts. As a result, the average price of meat sold in discounters is less than that in other retailers," added Fisher.

Beef mince, stewing beef and pork chops are said to be the main cuts sold by discounters, with pork chop sales up 60% compared with a total trade fall of 3%.

According to AHDB statistics, people who buy fresh meat from discount stores tend to be older, in the post-family stage and have no children at home, although more younger shoppers with children are buying fresh meat at these stores too.

Fisher said: "There is potential for the discounters to increase their fresh meat sales. Although Lidl and Aldi are not a threat to the big UK retailers, they do provide serious competition to the likes of Iceland and other low-cost multiples."

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