A 2% growth in the consumption of mid-week roast dinners in the past year was worth the equivalent of eight million extra meals, with chicken being the main beneficiary, according to the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB).
The mid-week growth slightly more than offset a 2% decline in the number of traditional Sunday roasts which were consumed, resulting in a 0.6% increase overall.
Quoting figures produced by Kantar Usage, AHDB commented that chicken is by far the most popular protein consumed in a roast dinner.
“Indeed, there are more than double the number of occasions featuring chicken than the next most popular, which is beef,” said AHDB. “While the protein is not registering the fastest rate of growth, however, its dominance of the meal occasion means it’s contributing the biggest absolute gains. By contrast, pork and, in particular, lamb are losing presence.”
The board’s analysis of the changing pattern of roast dinner numbers also drew attention to the fact that convenience and health are increasingly becoming more important in relation to mid-week meal occasions.
“The role of convenience is highlighted by the fact that, on average, there are five items on the plate mid-week compared to seven at the weekend,” stated AHDB, adding that the continued development of smaller, more convenience-focused roasting solutions will, therefore, be key to success going forward.
AHDB, which serves the red meat sector, was analysing the roast dinner market from the perspective of helping beef, lamb and pork producers become more competitive in the sector.