Pork sales on the increase

Pork was the only red meat to show volume growth in the 12 weeks to January, according to figures from retail analyst Kantar Worldpanel.

BPEX’s Pig Market Weekly reports that purchases of pork increased by 2%, while beef and lamb both declined. Spending on pork was also up 2%, with prices suppressed by an increase in the amount sold on promotion. Loin and shoulder joints showed good growth, with both supported by well-advertised promotions at major retailers.

Chops and steaks also made gains in spending and volume purchases; this was also driven by promotions. Pork mince continued to grow impressively, now accounting for 4% of the pork market. Purchases were up by nearly a third year-on-year, with this category again supported by more promotions.

Spending on sausages increased 8% during the latest 12 weeks, while volume sales were 4% below last year. Premium and low-fat sausages outperformed other types. Meanwhile, spending on bacon fell 2%, due to a fall in purchases.

Smaller retailers and the discounters benefited from consumers switching away from the top five retailers, where bacon performance was, in most cases, behind the total market. Pre-packed ham continued to show steady growth, boosted by shoppers buying slightly larger volumes per trip.

In the latest 4 weeks, covering the key Christmas period, pork’s growth slowed but remained positive, unlike other red meats which saw purchases fall.

Spending on pork declined due to deeper promotional discounts. Expenditure on bacon grew, while the decline in volume sales eased somewhat.

There has been a turnaround for sausages, with volume figures showing year-on-year growth for the first time since the summer. Ham figures continued to look encouraging, with volume purchases up 5%.

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