The latest figures from Kantar, covering the 12 weeks ending 31st October, shows growth across various meat and meat-free markets, while prices rise for categories such as chilled fish and processed poultry.

More spend but higher prices

Chilled fish is up 3.3%, which represents a £15.3 million increase by value. Nevertheless, shopper numbers have fallen compared to 2019, offset by the fact that those who do buy the category pay a higher price at £12.39 per kg in 2021 compared to £11.61 per kg in 2019.

As well as paying higher prices, total fish shoppers are also returning to the shops more often, with the number of visits up 4.6%. Battered, added value and smoked have all seen double digit spend growth this period.

According to Kantar’s data, meat-free maintains its growth rising 8.4% by spend year on year; however this has fallen from the double digit growth of previous months thanks to a slight drop in number of trips. Kantar noted that this metric is still in growth.

The biggest driver for growth has been new shoppers buying into the category, as the percentage of Brits sampling meat-free has increased from 17.5% in 2019 to 21.2% in 2021. That’s more than 600,000 new households sampling the category.

Improved performance for meat

Pork has seen an improved performance compared to the last 12-week period and is now seeing 3% decline year on year compared to 4.8% last period. According to Kantar, the improved performance has come thanks to price increases, with averages rising from £4.94/kg last year to £5.02/kg.

Compared to 2019, pork has gained more than 300,000 shoppers and seen even more significant price increases. These have resulted in the average Brit spending £1 more (every 12 weeks) on pork in 2021 compared to 2019.

One area to experience a step back from last period was bacon, down 12.1% year on year this period following a 10.4% year on year drop last period. Decreases in number of trips and price have contributed but the main reason for decline is a drop in shopper numbers.

Will Guise, client executive at Kantar, said: “Health is back on most shoppers’ agendas after a drop during lockdown, and bacon is a cut that some shoppers perceive to be higher in fat and salt.”

Fresh processed poultry remains a top performer within processed, seeing growth of 9% compared to last year and a 10.8% spending boost in comparison to figures recorded two years ago. As shoppers have bought more often, they have also paid higher prices. In 2021 they paid £7.65/kg, up from £7.08/kg in 2019.