Credit crunch sees rise in sales of dark poultry meat

The current economic downturn means shoppers have less disposable income, but Sainsbury’s has reported that its customers are not abandoning their values.

Speaking at the recent Egg and Poultry Industry Conference, Simon Twigger, fresh food director at Sainsbury’s, said that customers still want good, tasty food that has been sourced responsibly.

“We have seen the headlines of a 15% growth in food prices, but that hasn’t been reflected in the store as falling sales. People are buying more ‘Basics’ and trading down to own labels to save money,” he said.

Savvy shopping within store has also been seen, where consumers are looking at ways to save money while they shop, he said.

Recent Nectar card data revealed that chicken breasts were up in price slightly and there had been a decline in sales of 2%, whole chickens had seen a increase of 5.5% and dark meat was in growth with customers sales up by 13%.

Mr Twigger said when Sainsbury’s shoppers were asked earlier this year, what items would they cut back on, at the top of the list was eating out.

“The oven is on again, people are cooking and staying at home and eating with the family,” he added. Some premium lines had seen sales increase.

Amanda Cryer, director of the British Egg Information Service (BEIS), said that although there had been some recent decline in egg consumption in the poorer social groups, eggs were seen as an economic food source, and were therefore good for the credit crunch.

BEIS is planning to launch a series of £1 recipes to help families crack the credit crunch.

And Michael Barker, fresh foods editor at The Grocer, spoke about consumers watching what they buy and trading down to own brands.