The latest data for the 12 weeks to 3 December shows Meat, Fish and Poultry (MFP) volume sales in slight decline compared to last year, and value rising through inflation.
Pork, chicken and other red meat are the only primary categories seeing volume growth this period. Pork remains the star performer in both value and volume terms, and while growth is slower now than it was in our last update, it is still growing well ahead of the market. Inflation continues to affect the primary MFP categories more than the processed markets, which are all growing in volume and seeing lower inflation levels. Consumers are responding to rising prices with a mixture of trading down and different choices about the markets, proteins and cuts they buy.
“Fresh processed meat and poultry are the categories showing the strongest growth at the moment, benefitting from an increase in Y for £X deals and meal deals. Processed poultry sees the fastest value and volume growth, adding 6.6m more trips this year as promotional volumes rise 12% – giving shoppers a choice to make at the fixture. Growth is being driven by those aged 55 and over, empty nester and retired shoppers, showing the convenience trend extends to all age groups.”
The Christmas season is now truly in swing, with all the meat and trimmings appearing on shelves in store – but will the inflation we are seeing put a dampener on festivities? Having looked back at Christmas 2016, it looks like the push for convenience and value will still be important this year, Ward said, but shoppers will continue to trade up for special meals, particularly around the trimmings and additions to make a good meal a great meal. We’ve already seen retailers focus on premium products and expect shoppers to invest in a great Christmas experience despite the inflationary pressures they are feeling.