Continental meats take bigger slice of the cooked market

Monday, 15 November 2021

Continental meats accounted for 15% of value and 12% of volumes of sliced cooked meat sales over the last 52 w/e 5 September 2021, according to Kantar.

Before the pandemic, sliced cooked meat and continental meats were struggling to find growth. However, since the pandemic, we have seen huge uplifts in the amount of continental meats sold. For the 12 weeks ending 5 September 2021, volumes are up 12% year on year and up 30% on the same period in 2019.

Line chart showing the long term change in sliced cooked meats and continental meats.

Branded continental meats account for 9% of volumes in the last 12 weeks and have seen growth of 36% year on year. Within private label, standard tier makes up 96% of volume sales with 4% of sales being premium. (Kantar, 12 w/e 5 Sep 2021)

Continental hams, such as Brunswick and Smoked Bavarian, are the largest subsector within continental meats, followed by Salami. Serrano ham has seen the fastest growth over the past three months, up 35% year on year, though from a smaller base.

Bar chart of continental meat types. Showing serrano ham has the most growth.

Continental meat meals

Meals with continental meat are most likely to be had in the evening, with 31% of continental meat meals being eaten for dinner according to Kantar (52 w/e 8 Aug 2021). Only 4% of continental meats are eaten as snacks, which is much lower than we would expect. Snacking accounts for 20% of all meals and is currently the fastest growing occasion, so capitalising on this growth could be a big opportunity for continental meats.

Cheese is most likely to be eaten alongside continental meats, with 50% of continental meat meals also containing cheese. Other accompaniments are vegetables (47%), bread (31%) and morning goods such as croissants (24%).

Continental meats are eaten for enjoyment. When asked why they eat continental meats, 77% of consumers say it is because they enjoy the taste, compared to 64% of total food eaten for this reason. They are much less likely to be viewed as healthy, with only 17% of continental meats eaten for health reasons.

Eight per cent of continental meats are eaten because they need using up, compared to only 1% for total food. Therefore, it is worth considering a change to pack sizing to reduce food waste or having packaging which is resealable so that the product will last longer in the fridge.