Britons rediscover their taste for meat
Published:  27 January, 2006

In the 12 months to January 1, household consumption of beef, lamb and pork in Great Britain increased, according to a survey conducted by the Meat and Livestock Commission. Household consumption of poultry meat also rose over this period.

Total GB household consumption of beef rose by one per cent to just over 298,000 tonnes. However, this increase was only apparent in the English regions with slight declines in volume consumption in Scotland and Wales.

Over the same period, household consumption of lamb grew by more than two per cent to total 94,000 tonnes. Wales saw the most pronounced increase in lamb consumption, up six per cent while three per cent more lamb was consumed in English households. Not traditionally keen consumers of lamb, Scottish consumption dipped further over the 12 months to account for just under five per cent of total GB household consumption.

The increase in pork consumption was positive across all three regions. Total GB household pork consumption rose by three per cent to 163,000 tonnes. Scottish and Welsh consumption rose by one per cent, while English consumption rose by three per cent accounting for 86 per cent of the total consumed in GB households.

Independent butchers continue to lose market share to multiple retailers across the meat sector. Independent butchers supplied just 13 per cent of household purchases of beef and pork and 18 per cent of lamb purchases in the 12 months to January 1, down six, nine and four per cent for beef, pork and lamb respectively, on the previous 12 month period. Greater emphasis is placed on purchasing from butchers in Scotland and Wales than in England.

Sausages was the only commodity where butchers gained market share, with more emphasis placed on buying premium quality. However, butchers' share was still only six per cent on a year ago.