Red meat shows strength within home and family dining

Friday, 5 April 2024

Consumer eating habits have experienced a dramatic change during the last five years, due to Covid lockdowns, rising food prices and more people working from home. Despite this, meat remains a mealtime staple for many.

Meat has risen in popularity within both lunch and evening meals, despite the continued pressure of rising food prices during the last year. According to Kantar Usage panel, 53.1% of mealtimes feature meat, fish or poultry, and 27.8% of our lunch and evening meals feature red meat – this is up from 27.6% a year ago.

More consumers are choosing to include meat, such as cooked meats, pies and sandwiches, in their lunches compared with before the Covid pandemic in 2019. The sandwich is still the number-one choice for lunch, being chosen on over 35% of occasions, and soup comes in second at 7.3% of occasions (Kantar Usage). Both options are quick, easy and often cost effective, hence their continued rise in popularity.

Over the last five years, consumers have also chosen to have more hot meals during the day. Compared to 2019, more consumers are having hot breakfasts (+1.4 percentage points), such as fried breakfasts or omelettes, and hot lunches (+3 percentage points) such as soup or pasties (Kantar Usage).

The cost-of-living crisis also pushed more consumers towards alternative meat cuts to save money. Trends show people are making more versatile, nutrient-rich Italian and Indian dishes, featuring meat for the whole family to enjoy.

Cost-conscious consumers now have an overwhelming desire for their meals to be filling; this has increased from 27.5% to 29.2% over the last four years (Kantar Usage).

Consumers are increasingly:

  • Choosing cheaper carbohydrates, like rice and pasta, to bulk out their meals
  • Aiming to use up cupboard stocks
  • Pre-planning their meals to avoid waste

Our Retail and Consumer Insight Manager, Vanessa Adamson, said:

“There is a real opportunity for red meat growth within in-home and family dining if we continue to highlight meaty meals that are easy to prepare and part of a healthy, balanced diet.

“Campaigns like AHDB’s Let’s Eat Balanced can help promote consumer awareness and foster long-term positive attitudes towards naturally produced British red meat and dairy.”

Read the full article − Meat is a winner for family dinners