Increased switching by consumers from pork to other proteins, mainly chicken and lamb, was a factor in declining sales across all pigmeat products apart from pork shoulders in the past three months, according to BPEX.
Covering the 12 weeks to April 26, BPEX reports that pork has “come under pressure” from chicken, with one of the big four supermarkets selling fresh chicken some 20% cheaper than last year.
“In addition, the price differential between pork and lamb was lower than a year ago at £2.64/kg, which will have encouraged some pork consumers to trade up into lamb,” said BPEX.
The resultant impact on pigmeat product sales has been felt across all items, with “falling performance” being recorded despite prices, for the most part, being lower than they were a year before.
“Chops and steaks continue to register the heaviest declines,” said BPEX, adding that for roasting joints, all cuts are down on the year in both value and volume terms.
“With the exception of loin joints, all roasting joint cuts recorded a fall in average price. The reduction in sales also affected other pigmeat products, with spending on both bacon and ham down 4% on a year earlier.
“Sausages also recorded an overall reduction in volume and value, although there was a small uplift in sales of premium-tiered sausages.”
However, pork shoulder continued its recent good performance and was up some 13% in volume sales, helped by an increase in levels of promotional activity at Easter.
All eyes will now be on pork shoulder’s quarter two performance now that the pulled pork marketing campaign is in full swing.