Pork sales back in the black
Volume sales of fresh/frozen pork were up 3% on the previous year for the 12 weeks ended 8 October, according the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel.
This was the first time year-on-year growth in the fresh pork category has been recorded for a 12-week period for over a year. When combined with a 7% rise in average retail prices, expenditure on pork was 10% higher than year earlier levels during the period.
A number of cuts were responsible for driving the overall growth in fresh/frozen pork. Leg roasts reported a 31% increase in volume sales, while mince was up by 34% and sales of pork steaks increased by 9%. Importantly, growth was not driven by promotional activity, which was down 27%, suggesting there has been a rise in demand for pork. As lamb and beef retail prices have also been increasing, the comparative price competitiveness of pork may be aiding sales. Looking forwards, with the AHDB midweek meals campaign launched in late September, perhaps this positive momentum in sales volumes can be maintained.
The picture was less positive for processed products, with both sausages and ham showing marginal declines on year earlier sales volumes. However, bacon recorded a positive performance with sales volumes increasing 4% on the year. In addition, rising unit prices meant the value of sausage sales still gained 3% on equivalent 2016 levels.
With the subsequent period containing both Halloween and Bonfire night celebrations, it will be interesting to see whether pig meat sales can continue to grow on year earlier levels in this context. The key Christmas period is also fast approaching, and with retail meat prices inflating this year, buying decisions could be altered. Perhaps the relative price competitiveness of pork, compared to beef and lamb, might offer opportunities this festive period.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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