Tesco leads improvement in British pork sourcing

Tesco was the big mover as the latest AHDB Porkwatch survey showed the big retailers stocked more British pork towards the end of last year.

The November 2017 survey showed, overall, the proportion of British facings across the top 10 supermarkets was up year-on-year for pork (80%, +2%), ham (64%, +3%) and sausage (85%, +4%). Bacon was down (-2%) at a disappointing 45%.

Pork was also significantly up (+4%) on the September survey, on the back, it would seem, of AHDB Pork’s autumn Midweek Meal campaign, the second phase of which launched on Monday. A number of retailers committed to stocking more British pork during the campaign. Separate figures from retail analysts Kantar WorldPanel also point to a positive effect on retail sales at the end of last year.

However, retailers were stocking significantly more imported bacon in November, with British facings 6% down on September. Sausage and ham facings were largely unchanged on September.

Tesco moving up

Tesco made the biggest improvements in the November survey, recording a stunning 27% rise in British fresh pork facings on the September survey to 76% (up 19% year-on-year). Bacon was up 9% on September, although at 34%, Tesco remains among the worst performers in this category. At 86%, the proportion of British sausage on its shelves was 8% up on September and 10% year-on-year.

Asda remained the worst performer overall in all categories, but it also showed impressive improvement in fresh pork in November, up 15% on September and 11% on the year to 44%. It also improved its proportion of British ham, albeit from a low base to 36%, but its performance on bacon continues to be shocking. British facings fell by 18% on September to just 22% in November.

The full November Porkwatch summary can be viewed here

porkwatch-november2017Other key findings included:

  • Marks and Spencer and Waitrose continue to lead the way with 100% on pork, sausage and bacon and 97% and 95% respectively on ham
  • Co-op continues to impress after its May 2017 100% British pledge. It delivered this on fresh pork and bacon and recorded 98% on ham and 89% on sausage in November
  • Aldi, Budgens, Lidl, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s all scored 100% on pork
  • Of the ‘big 4’, Sainsbury’s delivered 95% on ham and 83% on sausage, but just 38% on bacon (-6% on September), while Morrisons scored 52% on bacon, 64% on ham and 78% on sausage.

NPA reaction

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “We welcome the overall positive movements in British sourcing, particularly for pork, which it would appear has been boosted the AHDB marketing campaign. We look forward to seeing further benefits from the latest phase of the campaign, running from this week.

“It is particularly pleasing to see the progress on British pork made by Tesco and Asda – well done to them! That said, there is still a lot more both could do to match their competitors when it comes to supply their customers with high quality British products and we expect to see these trends sustained into 2018. Asda’s efforts on bacon are simply not good enough.

“Thank-you to all those retailers that continue to stock Great British Pork in large volumes.”

  • The theme for the latest phase of the AHDB marketing campaign remains pork medallions and loin positioned as a simple alternative to midweek chicken. However, the last frame is altered to promote pork’s low in fat message, while the website features additional recipes.


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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.