Pork sales surged by 3.1% last year, and ended 2009 with a 13.5% increase compared with December 2008, according to latest Kantar Worldpanel data.

Consumers bought a quarter more roasting joints over the Christmas period, with bacon sales up by 2.3% and pork sausage purchases up by 7.6%.

“Pork is seen as one of the best value-for-money meats people can buy, which is in part behind the increases we have seen,” said Chris Lamb, head of marketing at the British Pig Executive. “This is coupled with additional levels of promotion by the retailers on shoulder roasting joints and, though the Jamie Oliver programme on pork was a year ago, we are still benefiting from the effects of that.”

As a result of the rise in consumption and prices, spending on pork rose by almost 6% in the year, to £843m. The multiples increased their market share to 86%, mainly at the expense of butchers.

Household purchases of beef fell by 3%, year-on-year, although expenditure increased by the same amount due to a 6% rise in retail prices. Lamb sales dropped by 9%, but expenditure only slid by 2%, to £625m.