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Tesco and Asda still bottom of pile as survey shows more British bacon on retail shelves

26th Oct 2016 / By Alistair Driver

UK retailers are sourcing more British bacon but there has been little movement in the other pork categories, despite favourable exchange rates, the latest Porkwatch survey shows.

Overall, among all 10 retailers covered by the September AHDB Pork survey, the proportion of British bacon (48 per cent) on show was 4 per cent up on July and on last year, while pork (83 per cent) was marginally up on July and on last year.

But ham (65 per cent) was 1 per cent down on July and 4 per cent on last year, and sausage (82 per cent) was 2 per cent down on July and 1 per cent down on 2015.


This was the first bi-monthly survey to give an indication of trends following the Brexit vote and subsequent move to a more favourable exchange rate for British products versus imports. 

There were strong performances by the usual suspects but at the other end of the scale, Asda and Tesco continued be the worst performers.

While Asda at least continued to make strides to increasing the proportion of British pork products on its shelves, Tesco, the only retailer to rival it for imported pigmeat, recorded significant year-on-year decreases in British pork, bacon and sausages.

Key findings for the September survey include:

Best performers

  • Waitrose and M&S both sourced 100 per cent or close to it in all categories
  • Aldi, Budgens, the Co-op, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s scored 100 per cent on pork
  • Of the big four, Sainsbury’s was the best performer, although it only scored 40 per cent on bacon, albeit an improvement on July and last year
  • Asda, Budgens, the Co-op, which is moving towards 100 per cent British bacon, and Lidl all recorded big increases in British bacon

Could do better

  • Asda was bottom in pork (61 per cent), bacon (28 per cent) and ham (35 per cent), although it recorded increases in all categories.
  • Tesco, the next worse performer, is going the other way, sourcing less pork (63 per cent), bacon (33 per cent) and sausage (77 per cent) than a year ago

Red Tractor

  • There was an overall decrease Red Tractor labelling compared with last year on bacon (21 per cent), ham (just 11 per cent) and sausage (49 per cent)


NPA view

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “We welcome moves by retailers to source more British bacon but we might have expected more of a shift towards British pork over the late summer and autumn, given the exchange rate.

“As ever, we applaud those who continue to demonstrate commitment towards British pork and use its Britishness, quality and high standards as selling points to customers.

“As for Tesco and Asda, at least Asda appears to be upping its British showing. But both really need to do better.