Meat prices on the rise
Published:  21 December, 2017

The value of meat, fish and poultry (MFP) have experienced an increase in value for the 12 weeks ending 3 December thanks to inflation, although volume sales have slightly declined. 

Bucking this trend is pork, chicken and other red meat (not beef and lamb) which have increased in volume growth. Pork has outshone other categories, which has performed well in terms of both value and volume and, although growth is slower than Kantar Worldpanel’s previous report, it is still well ahead of the market. 

Inflation is impacting the MFP categories more than the processed markets, which are growing in volume due to lower levels of inflation. According to Kantar, consumers are responding to rising prices with a mixture of trading down and diversifying in what proteins they buy.

“The growth of pork is the main story in primary meat, having moved away long term decline to three consecutive periods of growth,” said Nathan Ward, business unit director and Kantar’s MFP.

“This has been fuelled by 2.1 million more trips than last year as 290,000 more shoppers buy the protein. As a result we see strong growth despite prices rising 7.4% over the period. Mince is performing strongly with volume by 29%, followed by leg joints (+22%) and diced or cubed pork (+20%) as the AHDB [Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board] ‘midweek meal’ campaign continues to raise awareness and put pork front of mind for consumers.”

Ward highlighted that fresh meat and poultry are showing the strongest growth, and benefitting from an increase in Y for £X deals and meal deals. “Processed poultry sees the fastest value and volume growth, adding 6.6m more trips this year as promotional volumes rise 12% - giving shoppers a choice to make at the fixture,” he continued. “Growth is being driven by those aged 55 and over, empty nester and retired shoppers, showing the convenience trend extends to all age groups.”

Volume sales of chilled fish has dropped 6.5% and value has declined by 1.3% with shoppers making 5.3 million less trips to the category. Promotional support is also down, with 19% less volume sold on deal with retailers using less Temporary Price Reductions.

Salmon, in particular, is driving the category down in terms of volume sales – especially in natural, smoked and added value lines - as it is the species most affected by inflation. Prices have risen by 13% (£1.84 per kilo), as four million fewer shoppers visit the category which includes salmon when compared to last year.

This is a reverse in fortunes for added value salmon as it was the star performer in chilled fish with solid promotional share seeing it take from natural and smoked products until last month. However, the latest period has seen the market constrict rapidly, with volume share down almost 7% as shoppers take 2.1m viewer visiting to the category, and attracting 450,000 viewer shoppers compared to last year. Kantar believes that promotions play a role in this, having declined 7.7%. Prices haven’t risen however, with per kilo down 0.4%.

Kantar Worldpanel highlighted that, with Christmas is full swing, it looks as though there will be a push for convenience and value although shoppers will look for special meals, particularly around the trimmings and additions. Despite inflation, Kantar expects that customers will seek out premium products to enhance their Christmas experience.