Lamb sales during October and November last year were up 8% in volume, according to recent 12-week figures from Kantar Worldpanel.
Meanwhile, value sales for the 12 weeks leading to 6 December experienced a 7% increase in comparison to the same period of last year. Leg roasting joints performed particularly well, with the number of households buying the cut climbing from 12%, to just over one in 10.
Additionally, lamb mince experienced a 5% rise in spend during the 12-week period compared to the previous year, while chops were also up in value.
“These figures for lamb retail sales are a really positive way to end what has been a difficult year for many sheep meat producers,” explained Laura Ryan, Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board sector strategy director for beef and lamb. “All of the major retailers, except one, have seen an increase in lamb volume sales over the 12-week period. I think this is a really positive place for us to be and something we can build on in 2016. It is also great to see penetration growing, with more homes overall buying lamb.”
The levy board attributed the growth in volume sales as being driven by consumers purchasing lamb more frequently, with the amount purchased per shop also up.
“Our work will continue to ensure lamb remains an important part of a modern diet and we have a programme of activity throughout the next year to help support the product that our producers and processors put in front of consumers,” continued Ryan.
Last year’s TV lamb campaign ran during four of the 12-week period, helping to drive sales.
Over the same time period, beef sales were marginally down, 1% for both value and volume, despite beef mince and frying/grilling cuts both being up.