Late Easter impacted on pork sales

The amount of pork sold by GB retailers during the first quarter of this year was more than 2% down on last year, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel, but this was largely due to the difference in dates for Easter.

Last year’s festivities fell at the end of March, as opposed to this year’s mid-April celebrations. As such, this year’s first quarter sales missed the higher promotional activity associated with the run-up to the public holiday from major retailers.

Compared to last year, the total amount of red meat sold was 9% lower for the three-month period. Despite the overall reduction in sales, purchases of pork have been supported by consumers switching away from beef and lamb in favour of relatively cheaper meats.

Consumers continue to be price-sensitive, reflected in tightened household budgets, with shoppers looking for better value for money.

Bacon sales also fell, down 6% on the previous year for the first quarter, but again largely due to the timing of Easter. Despite this, sales of British bacon increased by 4% and now accounts for almost a third of total sales.

The difference in dates for Easter doesn’t seem to have had a significant impact on sausage sales, with purchases at similar levels to last year. However, the amount spent over the 12 week period was almost 6% higher compared with last year, driven by an increase in the average price.

Together with general retail price inflation, there has also been trading-up in quality and sales growth among the discount retailers, which tend to focus on higher quality sausages. Partly as a result of the increase in footfall, sausage sales from the hard discounters grew by more than 60% for the 12-week period compared with last year.

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