Man in front of meat section in Waitrose© London News Pictures/REX Shutterstock

British consumers are eating more meat but spending less on it, according to the latest sales figures from retail analyst Kantar Worldpanel.

The data showed that fresh meat and poultry consumption increased 1.2% in volume in the 12 weeks to 13 September compared with the year before, but consumers spent 1.2% less on the category in that period.

Looking at the entire year to 13 September, spend on meat was down even more – by 2.4% to £5.76bn, even though consumers bought nearly 800t more.

Spend on lamb and pork were particularly badly effected – falling 3.9% and 9.6% respectively in the 52-week period on the year.

However, consumers bought 2.1% more chicken over the year.

The biggest volume growth though came in the “other red meat” category – which includes offal, veal, venison, rabbit/hare, and “mixed” such as pork and beef mince.

 

Year-on-year spent growth (%)

Year-on-year volume growth (%)

Fresh primary meat and poultry

-2.4

0.1

Beef

0.3

-0.2

Lamb

-3.9

-1.8

Pork

-9.6

-4.2

Chicken

-1.9

2.1

Turkey

-4.4

-0.9

Other red meat

27.3

32

Other poultry

4.8

2.8

Families with children under nine years old were driving volume growth in the fresh and processed market, said Kantar. 

Red meat was holding back volume growth, while poultry saw a steady growth in the 12 weeks to 13 September.

However, Nathan Ward, business unit director for meat, fish and poultry at Kantar, said that lamb had moved back into volume growth over the summer, driven by prices falling on products that were ingredients in dishes, such as minced and diced lamb.

National Burger Day also helped burger and grill sales improve 1%, although this was behind the annual 5% growth of the category. 

A dreary summer however, took its toll, as Brits spent £24m less this year on BBQ food.