Scottish Beef and the Bite of the Credit Crunch

US - With people feeling the pinch as the credit crunch bites, how it is affecting their shopping habits, and is it depressing news for beef from Scotland?
calendar icon 19 August 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

The news isn’t bad. As people are trying to cut back by eating out less and buying fewer takeaways, it looks like they may be looking for a little indulgence in the supermarket by ensuring that if they need to cook at home, they are going to get the best experience they can.

Figures for independent market research firm, TNS show that consumption of Scottish origin beef throughout Britain is up 4.7% in value over the past year to £221.5million, with non-Scottish Beef only rising by 3.3%.

Although food inflation is pushing prices across all sectors at the moment, despite the high prices there has also been a rise in volume. Over the past 12 weeks, GB consumers have increased their purchase of beef with a Scottish origin by 3.3%, but decreased their purchase of beef with a non-Scottish origin, down by 6.5% over the same period.

Although purchases are remaining strong, the crunch has had an effect on people’s behaviour, and it’s the cuts that are changing. Unexpectedly, as well as the increase in purchases of mince, there has been a jump in the number of steaks being sold.

However, this is to the cost of roasting cuts, as those of Scottish origin have dropped by 7.2% and stewing cuts, which are 28.2% down. However, roast cuts from non-Scottish origin cattle have fared worse, dropping by 10.2%

One of the reasons behind this is consumer perception. Although roasting and stewing cuts may be cheaper per kilo and will go further, the price of pre-packaged products will invariably be higher than a pack of mince or couple of steaks. The prices may have also amplified the traditional seasonal dip in stewing cuts, as people look to quick summer suppers.

Tracking perceptions towards beef with a Scottish origin is another area where Scotland is showing strong performance. Preference for beef with a Scottish origin stood up 12.3% year on year over non-Scottish origin, only rising by 1.8%.

The new Scotch Beef campaign is aimed at building on this preference for Scottish origin with brand new adverts highlighting the qualities of stockmanship, welfare and environment and all that comes from buying Scotch branded Beef. In order to get people using more of the beef carcase, we will be unveiling a new selection of roast and stew recipes.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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