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Welcome end-of-year rise in fresh and frozen pork sales

28th Jan 2019 / By Alistair Driver

Retails sales volumes of fresh and frozen primary pork recorded a 4% increase year-on-year during the 12 weeks ending December 30.

pork loin medallionsHowever, declining shelf prices meant that the value remained stable, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel. The growth was driven by chops/steaks and shoulder roasting joints, which performed strongly, although leg roasting joints declined in volume.

The picture was less positive for other pig meat products. Bacon sales declined 3% in volume compared to year earlier levels, while a 4% drop in average prices meant the value of the market was down a noticeable 7%. Sausages remained stable in volume terms, while ham recorded a modest decline, but both these categories also recorded falling prices. Overall therefore, while total pig meat sales were stable on the year during the period, the value of the market declined 3%.

The figures for the whole of 2018 showed total pig meat protein sales were very similar to 2017. Reflecting their popularity over the summer, sausages recorded an increase of just over 1% in volume. However, this was countered by a 1% decline in volume for primary fresh and frozen pork. Value remained somewhat flat compared to 2017, with an increase in sausage prices counteracted by lower prices for bacon.

Pork appears to performing better than beef and lamb in terms of year on year sales. During the last 12 weeks of the year, including the vital Christmas period, total primary meat retail sales remained steady on year earlier levels.

But while pork saw a welcome rise, beef and lamb sales both recorded a 2% decline in sales volumes compared to the previous year, though rising prices meant the value of lamb sales increased. Beef meanwhile, recorded falling prices and so value was down. Both categories also recorded lower sales volumes across the 52 week period, although rising burger sales meant the decline for total beef protein was less than 1%.

AHDB analyst Rebecca Oborne said: “It seems there is little evidence at present to suggest there has been a significant turn towards plant-based diets, despite extensive press coverage. However, it remains to be seen whether Veganuary has impacted meat sales in the New Year.”