First quarter primary pork sales down again

Volumes of primary pork sold by UK retailers continues to fall year-on-year, although this was partly countered in the most recent quarter by an increase in value.

In in the 12 weeks ending March 28, the volume of retail sales of primary pork fell by 2.5%, while the average unit price increased by 1.4%, according to latest data from Kantar Worldpanel. As a result, the total spend on pork over the period fell by 1%.

The majority of the decrease in volume sold was down to sales of leg and shoulder roasting joints falling by 16% and 18% respectively on the year. Marinaded pork sales decreased by 19%, although this category holds the smallest market share.

But on the positive side, volumes of belly and mince sold increased by 19% and 14% respectively. Bacon and pork chop/steak sales also increased on the year by 2% and 3% respectively, while the volumes of sausages recorded a marginal (0.4%) increase. Pork sliced cooked meats, which includes ham, performed well, up 3% in volume in the 12 weeks ended 28 March helped by stable prices.


In contrast to pork, the volume of primary beef and to a greater extent poultry meat sold increased on the year during the quarter. This is likely to be due to a fall in the average unit price for both meats, over the period. On the other hand, the volume of primary lamb sales during the period fell by over a third although last year’s figures will include the important Easter period.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.