Chilled fish was a big winner in the supermarkets over Christmas 2018 – with consumers making 1.8 million more shopping trips for the category’s products compared to the same period in 2017.

The latest meat, fish and poultry (MFP) update from Kantar Worldpanel, covering the 12 weeks to 30th December, shows smoked fish specifically successful, with consumers making 970,000 more shopping trips. The smoked fish category had a value growth of 15%.

Nathan Ward, business unit director, MFP, explains: “Natural fish growth was due to some strong promotional support with 27% more volume sold on promotion.

“Again, salmon is the big winner with volumes up 21% on last year as more promotions help drive sales. Shellfish suffered over Christmas, without a large uplift in sales, despite increased promotional support.”

Chicken and pork were the strong performers within the big four proteins, growing volume over 4%, supported by falling base prices and stronger pork promotions.

Lamb’s strong value performance continues with the growth of joints over Christmas offset by the falling volume of chops.

However beef saw a decline last month, with three million fewer trips, driven by the cuts of joints, stewing and steaks.

Turkey remained static in volume over the 12 weeks, but has seen value drop slightly.

Talking about the pressure on meat and poultry in the press regarding plant-based diets, Ward commented: “There is limited evidence of us becoming a nation of vegetarians and vegans, with more shoppers buying into primary meat and poultry compared to last year.”

The next update will be available in four weeks’ time, where Kantar will analyse the first weeks of 2019.