During the 12 weeks ended 24 April, primary pork volume sales were down just over 1% compared to the previous year, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel.
However a 2% increase in average retail prices meant that the value of sales was actually broadly stable over the same time frame, the latest report from AHDB Pork has highlighted. Nonetheless, with the important Easter weekend now included in the year-on-year data, Easter sales seem to have been less impressive this year.
Volume sales of pork leg and shoulder roasting joints recorded particular declines over the 12 week period, perhaps linked to reduced promotional activity this year. Loin roasting joints also saw a modest drop in volumes sold, but when combined with a 9% rise in average unit prices, the sales value was higher.
Pork was not the only traditional meat centrepiece affected by declining sales in the 12 weeks ended 24 April. Volumes of fresh/frozen lamb sold were 14% behind 2016 levels, a decline that was particularly driven by roasting joints. Conversely, primary beef sales remained positive, reporting a 4% growth in volume.
Warmer weather during April may have inspired more barbeques over the Easter period this year. Sales of pork sausages reported a 3% growth on the year during the 12 weeks ended 24 April. Non-promotional and Y for £X sales are reported to be driving growth in the wider sausage category. While the Y for £X style of promotion has been in overall decline, it is still common in the promotion of barbeque products. The core barbeque season is now fast approaching, with the major retailers moving more barbeque lines into store. How this impacts pork sales volumes will be revealed over the coming months.