Premium sausages retain 31% market share despite consumers trading down

GB retail sausage sales fell by 18,000 tonnes in the year ending September 2014, with a clear shift in spending by consumers from premium to standard-tier sausages, according to BPEX.

Figures produced by the consumer knowledge and research business, Kantar Worldpanel, show that sales of standard-tier sausages increased by 4% during the last 12 months, a period when total sales declined by 2% (18,000 tonnes). That, said BPEX, has focused attention on what has been happening in the premium sausage part of the market.

“Compared with last year, average prices paid have risen by 6% and it appears that price conscious shoppers have traded down to manage price inflation,” said BPEX, adding that even with better news on the UK economy, average wage rises have continued to lag behind inflation.

“This means that most shoppers are not feeling better off and savvy shopping remains the order of the day.”

Even so, premium sausages remain an important part of the product mix, retaining a 31% share of sausage category volume, which is considerably higher than for premium bacon and ham.

“A key reason for this is the price difference between premium and standard tiers across the categories,” said BPEX. “Premium sausages are only £1.17/kg more expensive than their standard counterparts, compared to a difference of £8.51/kg for ham and £5/kg for bacon.”

All of which makes premium sausages an easier “trade up” for shoppers who are looking for a treat, and therefore a valuable part of the product mix. 

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