Red meat sales increases in the UK
Restrictions applied in the UK due to the coronavirus crisis have encouraged consumers to purchase more red meat, according to the most recent Kantar study. Shoppers bought 14% more red meat in the year to 24 January, compared to the year before, with a spending increase of 17%. All red meat saw increased demand, and despite somewhat subdued Christmas and January festivities, volume sales of beef were up nearly 20%, lamb 24%, and pork 29% over this period.
As people reconnected with red meat, many also returned to butchers, sought out farm shops, and found joy and reassurance in connecting with the people and places that produce their food, the analysts reported.
"In Scotland, the origin is now the driving force pushing up meat sales, according to Kantar, and 67% of people surveyed by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) in summer 2020, said they were now more aware of trying to buy local food and drink. Running in parallel with this and not going anywhere, is consumer’s growing concern about climate change and the role diet, and meat in particular, play," commented Kate Rowell, Chair of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
However, as livestock farming goes, the UK is one of the most sustainable in the world, with beef and lamb production emitting 35% less carbon dioxide than the global average, according to the UN’s FAO calculation.
"Rather than launch a defensive battle, let’s take this opportunity to engage positively, inform properly, and tell our own story. We are in an excellent position to do so, and farmers are the most trusted part of the supply chain. This is a strong story to engage with consumers on – both domestically and abroad – many of whom are dabbling with meat alternatives but are still on the fence trying to decide what is ethical and healthy. We have the chance to cut through the misinformation and show them that the right kind of red meat – home grown on our soils – can be part of a sustainable and ethical diet," added Mrs. Rowell.