Barbecue boom boosting pork sales

With England moving further into the knockout rounds of the World Cup and facing Sweden on Saturday, this year’s barbecue explosion is set to continue and benefit the pork industry.

This month’s meat, fish and poultry update from Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks to June 17, found that 34,100 tonnes of sausages were sold in the period, worth £157.1 million at retail.

Nathan Ward, business unit director for meat, fish and poultry at Kantar Worldpanel, said that it’s likely shoppers will make it a big weekend, entertaining or having a barbeque in the continuing heatwave.

“This should make for another great set of results in one month’s time when we deliver the next market update,” he said.

The latest meat, fish and poultry (MFP) market update found that value and volume sales are in growth across all macro categories – a performance not seen in the market in three years. After a couple of difficult months for MFP, these consecutive periods of growth are welcome news.

Mr Ward said: “Overall, we can see that the recent warm weather is helping grocers, if not our gardens, and the supermarkets are in sustained growth. Last period, we saw the May heatwave driving sales and this has continued into early June, with the nation spending over half a billion more on groceries this period compared with last year. The MFP markets have definitely benefitted from this great weather.

“We’ve seen a great performance across lots of areas, but burgers stand out. Growing 16% on last year, burgers have attracted just over one million more shoppers than last year and featured in 2.9m more trips. Demand is high, with full price sales driving growth, alongside a strong boost from increased sales of BBQ ranges on multi-buy promotions.

“Burgers are in growth across all life stages, particularly with young families and post-family shoppers, potentially highlighting the biggest barbeque fans. Sausages aren’t seeing the same levels of growth, but the humble banger is still seeing 1.5m more trips year on year, as the category benefits from the barbeque boom.”

The big news last month was that chilled fish had returned to growth, and this positive story continues this period, with a return to value and volume growth in the category, as lower levels of inflation have helped to attract shoppers back.

Mr Ward said: “Chilled fish featured in 1.4m more shopping baskets than this time last year, with basket sizes up 1.4%. These two elements are key to the volume growth seen in the category. Natural fish is a big driver of the volume growth, with 280,000 additional kilos sold as 310,000 more shoppers picked it up.

“Salmon is key to this performance, growing volume at 3.9% and adding 1.4m more trips to the category. Shellfish are also seeing strong growth, as shoppers pick up more prawns – perhaps another example of summer eating habits impacting the market.”

Primary and processed poultry were the other big winners in MFP, with volume sales growing faster than the overall market, and more shoppers buying it year-on-year.

Mr Ward added: “Primary chicken was key to the volume growth in primary MFP. Shoppers made 3.2m more trips which included chicken, and volume growth for legs (+8%), breasts (+8%) and whole birds (+5%) helped it to rule the roost.

“Chicken breasts continue to see strong promotional support, with sales on deal up 66% on last year and price cuts and multi-buys driving significant growth through 1.5m more trips. Whole birds are an unexpected winner over the period, with 1.4m more trips driving sales, and only slightly more promotional support than usual.

“Processed poultry also sees more shoppers entering the category, with promotions up 8% on last year. Shoppers under 45 are driving the growth here, but older shoppers remain the largest group for processed poultry.”

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