Pig meat sales see sharp decline

Retail fresh pork sales were down 13% in volume and nearly 10% in value in the 12 weeks to February 23.

The latest market report from Kantar, recording the period before the grocery market was turned on its head by coronavirus, indicated a slowdown in sales for meat, fish and poultry, with pork seeing seeing the strongest decline.

Bacon sales also suffered during the 12-week period, down 4.7% in volume, but up 3.5% in value due to higher prices, while sausages were down 0.9% in volume and up 6.1% in value. Sliced and cooked meats, including ham, were 4.3% down in volume and 2.8% up in value.

Pork’s decline came as overall fresh primary meat and poultry retail volumes were static during the period, with beef down 1.6%, lamb down 4.1 % and chicken up 5.4%.

Nathan Ward, business unit director at MFP, said, within fresh primary meat and poultry, pork was seeing the the strongest decline as prices rise, with 764,000 fewer shoppers and 3.8m fewer trips to purchase the meat. Shoppers continue to move away from pork roasts, steaks and chops. Leg and shoulder roasts are both down, with chops and steaks also seeing a marked decline.

Mr Ward added that promotional sales were down by 32% which could be a key contributing factor. “Overall, pork has had much less promotional support than other meats and the rate of promoted sales is down,” he said.

Bacon also continues to see a steep decline, as a result of fewer shoppers and smaller baskets –  with Y for £X deals down 47% compared to last year. Ward said that rising prices have kept value sales of bacon buoyant, with price hikes driven by promotional changes and inflation in farm prices.

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