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Pigmeat sales soar as data highlights impact of coronavirus

9th Apr 2020 / By Alistair Driver

Total pigmeat sales were up 18.4% by volume and 25.5% in value in the four weeks to March 22, as UK food buying habits were transformed by coronavirus. 

Bacon and sausage volumes were up 22% and 33% respectively during the period, outperforming the overall grocery market, data from Kantar shows. 

The AHDB/YouGov Consumer Tracker shows that people think sausages are easy to cook and suitable for mid-week meals, making them a good fridge/freezer staple during times like these, AHDB said.

Primary pork volumes were also up 10%, although this is less than processed pigmeat and the other primary proteins. Leg and shoulder joints actually experienced a loss of volume, although loin roasting and chops grew 52% and 36% respectively.

Sliced cooked meat volumes grew 10%. However, with school closures and full coronavirus lockdown coming after this data period, the impact of the loss of the carried-out lunch is yet to be fully felt – with ham being a key lunchbox staple.

Kantar retail Mar 22

Overall, the four weeks to March 22 saw record-breaking grocery sales, with an extra £1.4 billion spent on food and drink, compared to the same period last year, retail data from Kantar shows.

Based on the March data, AHDB estimates that the rise in pigmeat sales would exceed the losses in food services sales.

For more on AHDB's analysis of Kantar's figures, see Pig World