The latest Meat, Fish & Poultry (MFP) figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 13th August 2017 indicate a 1.5% growth in chicken sales, plus a drive in value growth for chilled fish.

The versatility of chicken, which is reported to be the nation’s favourite meat, is reflected in the performance of fresh processed poultry, which is growing volumes at 9% despite rising prices.

Chilled fish remains one of the highest inflationary markets in grocery, with base prices up significantly and promotional volumes falling. These changes are still holding down volumes, but driving value growth as prices increase rapidly.

In comparison, the Kantar figures show that red meat is driving the year on year decline in primary MFP as beef, lamb and pork have all lost shoppers and seen fewer trips. In beef, roasts, steaks and mince are all in decline.

Roasts also fuel value decline in lamb, with steaks and chops contributing to volume losses.

Nathan Ward, business unit director for meat, fish and poultry (MFP) at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “We’ve seen the fresh primary meat MFP category really suffer in the last few months as the dynamics of the category change, resulting in 1.7 million fewer shopping trips.

“The real driver behind changing behaviour remains the reduction of promotions which are down a third compared to last year, now only accounting for 23% of sales. A significant part of this is less frequent use of temporary price cuts (TPRs) which are down 42%.”

In pork, losses are offset by price rises, up 9% on average, which masks volume decline and roasting joints and belly are seeing the strongest price rises – sending volumes into decline but value sales up.

Shoppers are buying more pork mince, with the price differential to beef mince increasing to £1.25 per kilo – making it a good value alternative.

Chicken is bucking the trend, with both volume and value increasing as shoppers pick up chicken on 1.1 million more shops. Prices overall are fairly flat in chicken, with promotions not down as heavily as other categories (-25%).

Fresh processed poultry remains the best performing market, adding 750,000 more shoppers and 9.2 million more trips this year.