Eating habits impact premium meats

Premium meat products could be impacted by consumers’ demand for convenience, according to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC). 

The industry body’s latest consumer trends information indicated that more than two in five people are eating alone as a result of time constraints, leading to less involvement when it comes to making basic meals.

“Kantar Worldpanel 2015 research figures show we are moving year-by-year from a high to low involvement with our food,” said Sue Franklin, HCC UK market development executive.

“Average meal preparation times are sitting at around 32 minutes; in 1990, that was 45 minutes and in 1980 it was a full hour. A prime example of this consumer change is with the homemade sausage roll. Back in 1984, 61% would prepare pastry and mixture from scratch; a mere 6% of us are doing this 30 years on.”

HCC claimed that single dinners had now replaced couples as the leading category, making up 42% of meals eaten. Meanwhile, couple dining is at 36%, while three and four people are at only 11%, equating to just over one meal in 10.

“Quick, speedy food is demanded to fit in with the hustle and bustle of everyday living,” added Franklin.

“People also want more from their food – but they want it now. They will pay considerably more for ready-made solutions, 5% more for health reasons and 25% more for perceived taste.

“This is putting pressure on primary, premium products like PGI Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef. There are plenty of options for using both in high end, quick turnaround cooking but it does involve some investment in basic skills and knowledge of suitable cuts and both are also incrementally disappearing. It’s something that is reflected in statistics for the near one-in-four respondents who say they have a ‘night off cooking or couldn’t be bothered to cook’.”

According to HCC, the changing habits of shoppers was reflected in retail, with the discounters gaining 12% and online retailers seeing an 8% rise. Meanwhile, supermarket stores lost 3% while the high street decreased 1%.

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