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Pork volume and value continues to grow

30th Jan 2018 / By Alistair Driver

The upward trajectory for pork consumption continued towards the end of 2017, with volumes up slightly, despite higher prices. 

In the 12 weeks to December 31, sales of fresh pork grew by 1%, as the value of sales increased by 6%. In the same period, sales of Bacon (+5% in value) and sausages (+6%) both continued to grow, with the Christmas weeks providing a boost for these key ingredients of the Christmas meal, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel.

However, after two years of strong growth, gammon sales did not increase much in 2017. While the premium tier grew, this was due to purchases of slightly smaller joints.

AHDB pork chart

Improved pork sales contributed to shoppers spending £1bn more this Christmas than last year as volume and value both grew ahead of the market.

Growth was driven by shoppers taking 1.75m more trips, with steaks, leg joints and mince driving volume growth,

AHDB lead analyst Duncan Watt said there were three main themes to shopping patterns in the holiday period.

"Firstly, people shopped around more looking for value, making comparisons between different retailers rather than comparisons with last year," he said.

"Secondly, stores tried a wider range of promotions to attract customers, although there was a general fall in the number of coupons available. To do this, all the major stores focussed on trying to attract the 'big shop, the visit where items for the main Christmas lunch are typically all purchased together.

"Finally, there was slightly more scratch cooking this year too, with convenience playing a less important role than at other times of year (except perhaps for potatoes), which also helped the sales of fresh unprocessed meat."