Meat and dairy predicted to perform well this Valentine’s Day

Monday, 12 February 2024

Valentine’s dinner classics, including beef steaks, cheese and desserts, are predicted to perform well on Cupid’s day this year.

Our analysts have explored last year's sales and current data to form their 2024 predictions for Valentine’s Day retail performance and consumer trends.

Unsurprisingly, Valentine’s Day 2023 saw the lowest volume performance for the last five years, as shoppers watched their spending during the cost of living crisis and average price/kg for meat, fish and poultry products increased from £6.60 to £7.38 (Kantar 2 w/e 19 Feb 23).

Steaks are synonymous with Valentine’s Day and are more likely to be eaten during February than any other time of year. Despite this, and despite being priced higher than average, sirloin steak was the only cut to see growth last year.

This was due to other steak cuts having much steeper price rises and sirloin's price increasing at the slowest rate at +3.5% compared to +9% for total steak (Kantar 2 w/e 19 Feb 23).

We predict uplifts versus an average 2 w/e period and that steaks will be a standout option in many supermarket 'meal deal' offers. Sirloins may perform just as well this year, or perhaps we will see an uplift in cheaper steaks, such as rump, if shoppers are looking to indulge on a tighter budget.

Cheese is a favoured option for many on Valentine’s Day, and analysts predict that this year it could, like steak, be featured in 'meal deals', perhaps as an alternative to a sweet dessert.

Last year, cheese did not see uplifts outside of standard promotional activity, meaning it was only cheddar cheese and soft white cheese that performed well during peak Valentine’s shopping periods – products not usually associated with romantic meals (Kantar 2 w/e 19 Feb 23).

However, we predict that if supermarkets push cheese promotions outside of everyday staples, it could see a stronger performance this year.

Double and single cream sales increased by +6.6% and +12%, respectively, last year, and we predict this trend to continue in 2024 as people splash out on sweet treats for their romantic celebrations (Kantar 2 w/e 19 Feb 23).

Grace Randall, Retail Insights Manager at AHDB, said:

"We know that Valentine’s Day is a significant event for retail sales, with the second-highest average plate cost, behind Christmas. And with many consumers continuing to feel the pinch of the economic crisis, value and economy tiers are likely to come out on top again this year.

"As Valentine's Day lands on a weekday this year, we also predict that more people will be celebrating at home, hence supermarket deals such as steak and dessert 'meal deal' promotions could be popular."

See more from our Retail and Consumer Insight team