The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has predicted a number of trends in food sales for Christmas 2023, as cost-of-living concerns continue to affect consumer food choices.
AHDB suggested that the cheaper price tags of alternative roast options like gammon and chicken may sway shoppers away from traditional turkey this year. Data from the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) showed that 56% if UK shoppers who celebrated Christmas in 2022 had turkey as part of their Christmas meal, down from 60% in 2021 and predicted to decline further this year.
Grace Randall, AHDB retail insight manager, said: “Shoppers continue to be swayed by good deals and we expect this to continue for festive favourites. Supermarkets always have big promotions around Christmas time, and the ones choosing to offer the greatest discounts this year should expect the most popularity, while butchers and those offering premium, more expensive products may suffer.
“It’s possible more people will be choosing to eat out on Christmas day this year. As Covid limited this option in recent years, 2022 saw lots of people celebrating the lifting of restrictions with large gatherings in the home. However, now the ‘novelty’ of large home gatherings has worn off we may see a rise in the number of households choosing to dine at their local pubs and restaurants on Christmas day and avoiding the washing up at home.”
AHDB also stated that there may be some consumers choosing frozen over fresh, as AHDB data with YouGov recently showed that over 75% of consumers said that price has become a more important factor for them when choosing meat over the last year.
Holding back on the trimmings
Randall said: “All the trimmings may be a thing of the past, with some shoppers predicted to have to choose between perceived ‘non-essential’ options like stuffing and pigs in blankets, instead of getting both. However, more affluent shoppers will likely still have a ‘more the merrier’ in the trolley attitude.
“Kantar data also suggested that more people may be attempting to make their own pigs in blankets, with sausage sales soaring around the festive season.
“As consumers continue to keep an eye on their spending, supermarkets may notice a delay on Christmas specific food being purchased. Food like mince pies, Christmas chocolates and holiday party food might not be purchased as early as in previous years, when people picked up these items as early as September.
“Instead, we may see shoppers saving these items for the Christmas runup, instead of enjoying them in the months before. We predict that Friday 22nd December will be the biggest grocery shopping day this year.”