Fall in pork production leads to less shelf facings

A decrease in domestic pork production has contributed towards a drop in British pork facings in UK supermarkets. 

According to the latest Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Pork's PorkWatch data, the percentage of British pork found in UK supermarkets fell by two percentage points.

British pork facings averaged 79% across the four bi-monthly surveys conducted so far this year, compared to 81% during the same timeframe in 2016.

“In Asda, the percentage of British pork facings fell by 10 points compared to the January-July surveys a year earlier, averaging 44%,” explained Bethan Wilkins, AHDB Pork analyst.

“Lidl increased the percentage of British pork facings by five points over the same period, now averaging 99%. All the other retailers stood on last year’s levels, with all apart from Tesco offering exclusively British pork.”

Dividing the category into products, bacon facings were also two percentage points lower than the first four surveys of last year, coming in at an average of 45% on supermarket shelves. This was largely driven by Asda, Morrisons and Tesco, where commitment to backing British fell by -5%, -7% and -4% respectively.

This was countered by The Co-op, which demonstrated an increase of 12% year-on-year. This comes after its pledge earlier in the year to only sell fresh British meat.

Meanwhile, ham facings also fell by one percentage point compared to last year to 64% following on from more declines from Morrisons, Asda and Marks & Spencer.

However, it wasn’t all negative. Sausage facings were on average higher compared to last year, reaching 84%.

Discounter Lidl showed the largest increase, gaining 11% year-on-year, offering 100% British sausages in most of the surveys since July 2016. The majority of the other supermarkets demonstrated stable or increased facings of British sausages, with Aldi and Morrisons being the exceptions and posting small declines of one percentage point each.

It should be noted that retail facings will not necessarily correlate to the volume of product sold.  

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