Fish making a splash this Easter

Alternatives to traditional Easter meats are rising in popularity this year, as fish is almost as popular as chicken. 

Research from IGD reveals that, while lamb remains the nation’s meat of choice at Easter – at 20% – alternatives are also having more of a presence on dinner plates. Twelve per cent of shoppers are planning on favouring fish this year, with 13% siding with chicken. Twice as many women as men are planning on purchasing fish – 16% compared to 8%. Meanwhile, 8% are eyeing up beef, with 6% planning on cooking pork.

In addition, IGD calculated that more of us are moving on from the conventional Easter Sunday lunch, with over a quarter (26%) opting for a weekend-long celebration extending beyond cooking one big meal. A fifth (21%) have admitted that they have not yet made plans. Forty-three per cent of shoppers admitted that they treat the long weekend as a holiday. Research indicates that provenance is an important aspect to the Easter meal, with 17% of shoppers saying they buy more British-sourced food around Easter.

“Our research shows a clear move away from the traditional Easter celebrations that centre around cooking one main meal on the Sunday of the Bank Holiday weekend, with lamb being the conventional choice,” commented Vanessa Henry, shopper insight manager for IGD. “Instead, shoppers are now viewing the holiday as a four-day event that brings with it multiple opportunities for meals and entertaining, one key part of which is experimenting with alternative main meal options such as fish and chicken.”

The report highlighted that retailers have the opportunity to trade up with shoppers in-store and online. A fifth of shoppers (20%) claim to buy more food and groceries over Easter as they are likely to be entertaining. Twenty-two per cent are planning on having a meal at home with their family or household on Easter Sunday, with 9% planning on attending a meal at someone else’s on the Sunday. Six per cent are planning on hosting an Easter Sunday meal for extended family or friends.

“Retailers should see this as an opportunity to drive a broader range of different meal occasions, instead of just the traditional one celebratory meal, and the spontaneous nature of shopper planning for the holiday means businesses can successfully engage their customers up until the last minute to influence and support with meal planning,” added Henry. “Although most shoppers aren’t planning to eat out over the Bank Holiday to celebrate Easter, the large proportion of those without plans presents a last-minute opportunity for out-of-home as well as for dining.”

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