Strong January performance for red meat and dairy

Retail volumes for total red meat were up 15.1% in the 4 w/e 24 January 2021 according to Kantar and dairy also showed a strong performance, up 11.8% in volume compared with last January.

AHDB Retail insight analyst Grace Randall said that over the last 12 weeks the total grocery market has grown by 12.4% in value and 10.3% in volume, with all red meat and dairy categories performing more strongly than the overall market in terms of volumes.

Red Meat

Primary red meat saw volume growth of 18.1%, with much of the growth driven by shoppers buying red meat more frequently as closure of foodservice has led to more in-home cooking.

“We also see an increase in household penetration, showing that new shoppers are being attracted to the category,” Ms Randall commented.

Beef mince continues to be a strong favourite, driving growth for the beef market. Other cuts, such as roasting joints, steaks and burgers, also proved popular.


All areas of dairy saw double-digit volume growth in the 12 w/e 24 January. Fresh cream was the fastest-growing (+21%) whilst milk growth contributed the most to volume uplift (+131m litres) and accounted for 72% of total dairy growth.

Ms Randall commented: “Shoppers are exploring different varieties of cheese as we are seeing a lot of growth coming from British regional cheeses as well as speciality and continental. This is partially driven by consumers cooking more meals ¬£from scratch at home and using cheese as a main component.

Opportunities and challenges

Ms Randall said that opportunities remain for the retail sector as consumers look for ingredients to make economical and tasty meals at home.

She commented: “Recipe inspiration throughout the shopper journey can help consumers to feel confident to try a wider variety of meals and encourage new ways of using products to help maintain interest.

“Many consumers are purchasing small treats, turning to food during the current social restrictions. The use of dairy in home baking and desserts presents an opportunity here.”

Get Our E-Newsletter - breaking news to your in-box twice a week
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

About The Author