Turkey loses Christmas crown in meat sales war

Chicken outperformed turkey this Christmas period, according to Kantar Worldpanel
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Turkey has been outperformed by chicken as Christmas traditions fall by the wayside. 

According to Kantar Worldpanel’s Meat, Fish and Poultry Market Update for the 12 weeks ending 3 January 2016, value sales of fresh primary meat and poultry fell 1.3% compared to the same period 12 months ago. Volume sales grew 1.3% for the period.

Turkey was expected to take the crown for the festive season, but declining volumes meant a 2.2% drop in value sales and a 0.7% drop in volume sales. Chicken and other poultry won the Christmas war, with value sales growing 1.3% and 15.9% respectively, while volume sales grew 6% and 23.2%.

Nathan Ward, business unit director, said: “Shoppers enjoyed a wider repertoire of meats over Christmas. Turkey still featured on the more traditional plate, but time with family prevailed over time in the kitchen, and we saw a decline in whole birds as the more convenient options won. As diets and tastes evolve, other proteins also become part of the Christmas menu and the move from traditional turkey is shown by beef roasting joints, which performed ahead of the beef market and grew volumes on a strong 2014 Christmas performance.”

He added: “Wednesday 23 December was the biggest day for groceries overall, as well as meat, fish and poultry, demonstrating that choice and availability in the last week are key to ensuring suppliers and retailers win at Christmas. The hard discounters continued to win at Christmas as 1.3 million more people bought meat, fish and poultry in these stores this year.”

Fresh processed meat and poultry was down 4.8% in terms of value sales and down 2.3% in volume sales compared to last year.

Bacon and sausage sales continued to see a decline, with the former seeing double-digit drops (10.1%) in value terms. Sausages were not far behind, with an 8.7% drop in value sales.

Kantar added that it wasn’t all doom and gloom within pork, with loin roasts and marinades bucking the trend and seeing sales growth.

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