Figures show beef and chicken win Christmas meat battle

Beef and chicken were the categories that saw solid value and volume sales growth over the festive period. 

According to the latest Kantar Worldpanel Meat, Fish and Poultry (MFP) figures for the 12 weeks to 1 January 2017, beef saw a 3.4% year-on-year growth in value sales, while volume sales were up 6.7%.

As for chicken, value sales were up 1.8% on the previous year, with volume sales up 7.9%.

Nathan Ward, business unit director for MFP, said: “Beef continues its strong performance through 6.9 million more trips, with more shoppers buying across cuts. Mince, steaks and stewing beef are all seeing more shoppers, driving their growth as base prices fall. Only mince has seen growth driven by promotional investment, with strong temporary price reductions driving volume sales and holding back value.”

Turkey enjoyed its traditional festive growth, with volume sales rising 0.1%. Value sales were down 3.5% during the period.

“Turkey has seen a strong turnaround in performance, moving into volume growth undoubtedly bolstered by traditional Christmas dinners all around the country,” said Ward. “Whole birds and crowns are the important sectors propelling turkey volumes over the four weeks of Christmas, as more shoppers enter the market. Fresh chicken continues to see a strong performance, attracting 540,000 more shoppers and helping to bring the market back into value growth through breast, leg and roasting birds.”

Lamb had a disappointing Christmas, with a 5.6% drop in value sales and a 7.3% drop in volume sales. Pork also saw a poor festive season, down 6.7% and 4.3% in value and volume terms respectively.

Bacon and sausages had a good Christmas, with the former seeing a 4.3% rise in volume sales despite a 1.1% drop in value sales. Sausages achieved a 2.7% increase in value sales and a 4.4% rise in volume sales.

The MFP report also revealed that chilled fish remained the fastest-growing macro category and the only category seeing value growth ahead of volume, with 370,000 more shoppers buying into the category.

“Added value continues to close in on the volume growth of natural fish, with 640,000 more shoppers added through cod, prawns, haddock and lobster. Battered products are growing strongly from a small base, as haddock performs strongly. Prawns, surimi and crab are the sectors fuelling shellfish performance.”

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