Festive beef sales top the Christmas tree

Increased demand for beef during the Christmas period lead to year-on-year sales growth in both value and volume, according to AHDB/EBLEX analysis of the latest Kantar Worldpanel data.

Fresh beef grew in both spend and volume as a greater number of consumers bought beef, more often during the festive season. Almost half of UK households bought beef in the four-week Christmas period.

Following the seasonal trend, turkey remained the favourite among festive shoppers. However, beef also proved to be a staple Christmas option, closely following turkey with a 3.5 per cent year-on-year change in volume.

While the classic Christmas cut − the roasting joint − drove the performance of beef, increases were visible in other areas of the category. Stewing cuts, in particular, experienced a growth of three per cent in spend.

Online sales of fresh meat were also amplified last year with an extra 259,000 households buying their Christmas meat and poultry online, compared with 2013.

Lamb was the success story of the online sales boost, experiencing the most online sale growth in both value and volume of all the major proteins. Overall, the entire lamb category saw increases of 2.5 per cent this Christmas.

Nick Allen, sector director of EBLEX, said: “It is great to see lamb benefiting from increased online sales, particularly as we have launched a number of online campaigns, like LambSoc, to promote the benefits and ease of cooking with lamb.

“It is also extremely positive to see stewing cuts performing so well. Although this might be a trend unique to the festive period, it is one EBLEX are keen capitalise on. Much of our trade marketing activity will concentrate on furthering the appeal of stews and casseroles with consumers across the board and working with retailers to ensure the category maintains constant growth.

“The figures released by Kantar are extremely encouraging and illustrate that both beef and lamb retained appeal with consumers during the Christmas season.”

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