Supermarket lamb sales have risen by more than 10% in recent months, with increasing numbers of families and younger shoppers adding it to their baskets.
New data from market analyst Kantar Worldpanel suggest that 2020 is turning into a bumper year for lamb, according to Welsh levy board Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales).
Latest figures show that in the 12 weeks to 4 October, British shoppers spent 15.5% more on lamb compared with the same period last year.
The volume of lamb consumed was also up 11% on last year.
Taking the year as a whole, lamb sales have rebounded strongly after a disappointing Easter – which was badly impacted by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on family gatherings.
Total spending on lamb in Britain is now up 7.9% on the year to date, with encouraging signs that new customers are giving lamb a try.
The number of people purchasing lamb is up 9%, with nearly a third of households buying it at least once during the 12-week period.
Although lamb is still most popular among older consumers, this year has seen a number of younger shoppers trying it.
There has been a strong year-on-year increase in terms of the volume of lamb purchased in households with children (+17.2%) and shoppers aged under 45 (+13.4%).
HCC’s data analyst Glesni Phillips said: “After instability in the markets earlier in the year due to the disruption of the foodservice and hospitality trade, lamb’s popularity has been a notable feature of the British retail market.
“We’re pleased that the data shows increasing numbers of families and younger consumers trying lamb. We’ll continue to target marketing at this group in the run-up to Christmas.”
Retailers have invested in increased promotion of lamb in-store to help support the sheep sector.
HCC has also worked with social media influencers and famous chefs, including BBC TV’s MasterChef judge John Torode, to offer recipe ideas that encourage people to try out new ideas at home.