The grocery environment has never been as turbulent as it is today, with fresh meat sales at the heart of the action, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s communications director, Ed Garner.
Speaking at the recent Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales conference at Llandrindod Wells, he highlighted the rapid meat sector rise of discount retailers Aldi and Lidl, pointing out that Aldi’s meat sales are growing at over 40% with Lidl up by 23%.
“Shoppers are now sharing their purchases between two major retailers, either Aldi or Lidl and one of the other major supermarkets,” said Mr Garner (pictured above).
“Aldi and Lidl used to be funny sheds that sold stuff you didn’t see elsewhere; now everyone goes there and their demographics are on the national average.
“Budget labels are in decline, meanwhile, largely it seems because consumers think they are not good quality, whereas products in the discounters are thought of as good quality, with signs that both consumers and suppliers like their consistent approach.”
While acknowledging that other supermarkets were committed to “fighting back”, he said that the discounters were “no longer about a dour shopping experience”.
“They understand the store experience is important,” he said, adding that a new Lidl store, that is about to open soon, will further challenge opinions on Lidl, what their stores are and what they represent.”
While independent butchers still have 10% of the fresh meat market, they are under pressure, he told conference delegates, returning to his core theme that they were all involved in an extremely “turbulent, spiky market” these days.