Meat enjoys a bumper Christmas boost due to Covid-19 restrictions

New retail sales figures for December have just been published by Kantar Worldpanel, showing that British consumers enjoyed a wider range of festive meat as they catered for smaller gatherings during Covid-19 restrictions.

The results were positive for the red meat sector, and suggest that late-2020 campaigns were successful in addressing consumers’ needs during a period when seasonal festivities were likely to be on a more intimate scale, but with more households having to cook their own Christmas dinner.

Christmas 2020 showed more consumers opting for beef, lamb and pork. 645,000 more people in Britain bought a beef roasting joint in December compared with the same period in 2019, and overall spending on beef was £1.1 million higher than last year.

Consumers also spent £2.2 million more on pork and £445,000 more on lamb during their lockdown Christmas, with some moving away from the traditional turkey roast.

Promotion campaigns

Throughout November and December, campaigns by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) were aimed at raising awareness of PGI Welsh Beef, PGI Welsh Lamb and pork as options for people who were cooking for smaller groups.

HCC market development manager Rhys Llywelyn said:

We anticipated that Christmas demand was likely to be different this year. With this in mind we concentrated on advertising on both traditional and social media, promoting alternative festive meals with lamb, beef and pork.

“We also emphasised the value of local purchasing; and many high street butchers – who have been so vital in supporting their communities through the pandemic – reported very strong trade this December.

“We’re grateful to our partners who helped make this campaign a success – from chefs who developed exciting new recipes and social media content, to sports stars who helped endorse the campaign.

“HCC is continuing to support the red meat sector in January, with new promotions themed around health and sustainability,” he concluded.