Primary pork prices remain favourable despite being knocked off top red meat spot

Primary pork prices remain favourable despite being knocked off top red meat spot

As of July, primary pork, comprising steaks, roasting joints and mince, is no longer the best performing red meat, as consumers trade down to favour more affordable options in an attempt to save money.

The primary pork market value has grown 10.2% year-on-year (YOY) to £800m according to Kantar. This is 1.8 percentage points ahead of the YOY increase for total grocery over the same period.

This value growth is driven by inflation, as average primary pork prices rose by 15.7% YOY to £5.71/kg but volumes sit 4.7% lower over the same period (Kantar, 52 w/e 09 July 2023), continuing the 52 w/e declines seen since November. Whilst new shoppers are typically younger, the majority of sales come from older shoppers, so it remains key to mobilise repeat consumers.  

Due to the large number of processed pork options, primary pork makes up a small portion of total pork volumes, at 14.9%. However, it is one of the cheapest proteins, coming in at £1.50/kg cheaper than the average for total primary meat, fish and poultry (mfp). However, we are now beginning to see primary pork’s retail performance slip and its YOY volume decline outpace beef (Kantar, 52 w/e 9 July 2023).

AHDB Trainee Analyst, Tom Price said: “This comes as the cost-of-living crisis causes consumers to trade down to cheaper products like mince and sausages, and cheaper proteins like chicken, as well as limiting their meat consumption altogether in an attempt to save money. Consumers switching to primary chicken accounted for 26.2% of all primary pork volume losses YOY, as chicken is the cheapest protein on the market at £4.81/kg.

“Messaging on how pork can be used in tasty and affordable meals could help to boost sales. These are key points within AHDB’s Mix up Midweek campaign.”

Pork’s lower price point compared to other red meats stands it in a good position within the market. This means that over the coming months we could continue to see primary pork’s retail volume declines limited when compared to beef and lamb. As the cost-of-living crisis will continue into the festive period, we could see increased demand for pork at Christmas as pork roasting joints are approximately 50% cheaper than that of beef and lamb.

Tom added: “Retailers looking to boost primary pork sales could also promote the health credentials of pork through highlighting how pork is high in protein, a source of zinc and B vitamins including B12. This could encourage consumers to purchase pork, especially when combined with messaging around primary pork’s affordability.”

Read the full article here: Primary pork’s performance knocked off top red meat spot but prices remain favourable | AHDB

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