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Retailers stocking less British pigmeat, survey shows

27th Jan 2017 / By Alistair Driver

The proportion of British pork products on supermarket shelves fell across the board towards the end of 2016, with Asda’s performance in particular branded 'dreadful' by NPA.

AsdaThe latest AHDB Porkwatch survey, covering November 2016, showed overall British facings for pork, bacon, ham and sausage fell by between 3 and 5 per cent on the September survey and by 2 to 4 per cent year-on-year.

Asda, already the worst performer by a distance among the 10 retailers covered, recorded major declines in three of the four products, including a 35 per cent drop in the space of two months in the volume of British pork on its shelves. It is now importing the vast majority of its pigmeat.

Elsewhere the trend was generally downwards, although nowhere near the scale of Asda’s shift towards imported pigmeat.

The overall percentages of British facing pigmeat on retail shelves were:

  • 79 per cent pork (down 5 per cent on September and 2 per cent on November 2015)
  • 46 per cent bacon (down 5 per cent on September and 2 per cent year-on-year)
  • 62 per cent ham (down 4 per cent on September and year-on-year)
  • 82 per cent sausage (down 3 per cent on September and year-on-year).

In terms of individual supermarkets:

  • The best performers continued to be Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, with scoring 100 per cent or close to it across the board
  • All retailers, except Tesco and Asda, scored 100 per cent in pork, with Lidl becoming the latest to join the club in the November survey
  • Of the ‘big four’, Sainsbury’s scored well across all categories, except bacon at just 35 per cent, 11 per cent down on September
  • Morrisons comes next, doing better on bacon at 55 per cent
  • Tesco comes ninth out of 10 when it comes to backing British pork, remaining near to the bottom in most categories, with just 34 per cent British bacon on shelves, well down year-on-year, and 64 per cent British pork
  • But Asda is bottom of the pile in every category - and getting worse, scoring just 40 per cent in pork, 20 per cent on bacon and 27 per cent on ham. In these categories it is between 22-35 per cent down on September and, on pork and bacon, down 20 and 29 per cent respectively year-on-year.

The full November Porkwatch figures can be seen here


NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “As ever, we thank those retailers that continue to back British pork and promote the fact they are doing so.

“We are disappointed with the overall results showing that retailers sourced less British pigmeat across the categories.

Tesco could certainly do better. But the performance of Asda, which was already in a league of its own when it comes to turning its back on British pork, was dreadful and we will be taking it up with them at the earliest opportunity,” she said.

“But, overall, it is not just about the proportion of British pigmeat. We have been encouraged by some of the new pork product development on the shelves of a number of retailers, including Waitrose and Aldi.

"That is certainly something we are looking forward to seeing much more of this year.”