Meat and dairy felt the love in lockdown, helping boost food and drink retail sales to record levels this Valentine’s Day – up £85 million on last year.

Meat, fish and poultry saw the biggest ever Valentine’s, with an extra 16 million kgs sold compared to last year, with beef steaks winning the hearts of loved-up Brits.

Research showed that all cuts of beef steak saw volume increases, but consumers were willing to pay more for a ‘treat’ this year, with the largest uplift seen in fillet (29%), ribeye (29%), and sirloin (34%).

Valentine’s Day increase in potato sales

According to a new report by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), chilled potatoes proved to be the perfect pairing with volumes rising 42% in the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, compared to the same period last year.

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Dairy also performed well with many categories seeing year-on-year volume growth – with cheese volumes up 23% compared to 2020.

Image source Pixabay dairy

AHDB analyst Rachel Rose said:

“The pandemic and resulting national lockdown has led to a unique Valentine’s Day this year, with couples who would normally eat-out on February 14, forced to find new ways to be romantic.

The latest research shows that beef steaks, potatoes and dairy won the hearts of consumers this year – proving to be the perfect dish to serve up as a treat for loved ones at home.

The research also showed that takeaways proved an attractive option this year, with an uplift in value of 112% in the week ending February 14.