Kantar has said that 12% of total pig meat volumes sold held an outdoor claim, equating to 92,000 tonnes, for the 52 weeks to June 16.
The majority of the volume sold with an outdoor claim is processed product (79%), such as sausages, ham and bacon, with only 11% of the volume coming from primary pork cuts.
As household penetration of the processed pork category is high, 70% of households will have purchased a pork product with an outdoor claim in the past year.
Pork products with outdoor claims command a price premium, being, on average, £2.50/kg more expensive. This premium remains a barrier for some shoppers, with 37% claiming they choose pork purely based on the best price and 11% claiming they would choose outdoor, but it is too expensive (AHDB/YouGov Tracker Apr/May19).
This also explains why more outdoor-claimed pork is sold on promotion than total pork, at 42% versus 31%.
Because of the price premium there may be a need for more information about different pork production systems. According to the AHDB/YouGov Tracker, 45% of consumers claim outdoor is important to them when buying pork, but nearly the same number of people (41%) claim they do not know or have an opinion on it.
Coupled with this, 48% of consumers claim not to know/care about the difference between outdoor- and indoor-bred production systems (Apr/May19).
AHDB estimates that 40% of British pigs are outdoor-bred and, according to the 2009 Defra Farm Practices Survey, an estimated 2% live outdoors for their whole lives.
AHDB said it is important to recognise that GB retail figures will include imports, with approximately 62% of domestic consumption coming from imported products (AHDB 2018). If it is assumed that imports don’t carry an outdoor claim, AHDB estimates that about one-third of UK produce is sold with an outdoor claim, which highlights a gap to the 42% of production.
Pig production systems have clear rules regarding claims:
|Indoor bred||These pigs live indoors for the majority of their life.|
|Outdoor bred||These pigs are born outside in fields, where they live until weaning (7 kg).|
|Outdoor reared||These pigs are born outside in fields, where they are reared for approximately half their life (at least 30 kg).|
|Free-range||These pigs are born outside in fields and they remain outside until they are sent for processing.|
|Organic||These pigs are born outside in fields and they remain outside until they are sent for processing. Feed must be organic.|