LMC: Beef Sales Under Pressure During September

NORTHERN IRELAND - Retail beef sales had been performing well in recent months with sharp increases in sales over the quarter ending 4 September. However, the trade has come under pressure during September with beef volume sales showing a decline.
calendar icon 27 October 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

Beef sales in GB were down by five per cent in volume terms in the four weeks ending Sunday 2nd October. A six per cent increase in price was one of the key drivers of this change.

Penetration (the proportion of consumers buying beef) was down by four per cent. The amount bought by those consumers that did purchase beef (average weight per purchase) was down by two per cent.

Roasting joint sales were down by 19 per cent year on year in the four weeks ending 2 October with sales of frying and grilling cuts down by eight per cent.

Sales of stewing cuts were up however by 2 per cent, the only beef cut to have registered an increase in sales last month.

On the positive side however, consumer expenditure on beef was unchanged year-on-year with the higher prices and lower volumes cancelling each other out.

Lamb also had volume sales declines in September. This is a continuation of a trend that has been in evidence throughout the year. Volume lamb sales are down by 15 per cent year-on-year, with prices up by 15 per cent. Worryingly, it is clear that some consumers are taking lamb off the menu, probably because of price.

Penetration was down by nine per cent during September (year-onyear), and for the last 52 weeks, penetration is down by 11 per cent. The average weight per purchase was down by seven per cent in September.

The general decline in lamb sales has been driven by a decline in volumes across all cuts. In September, shoulder roasting joints (-28 per cent) showed the largest decline this period. While beef and lamb sales have been under pressure, pork sales have held up.

Average retail pork prices were eight per cent higher during September and because volume sales were unchanged, total retail expenditure on pork increased by eight per cent during the period

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