Romance high ‘steaks’ for red meat and potatoes

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Making the food of love almost effortless could be the key to capturing shopper’s hearts on Valentine’s Day, with ready-to-cook products gaining £2.3 million from the 2019 event.

More than two thirds of those celebrating the annual festival of romance stayed in this year, seeing total grocery in the fortnight around 14 February benefit from an extra £16.8 million spend.

Meat, fish and poultry featured in two thirds of meals, ten per cent more than the rest of the year, with shoppers 14 times more likely than usual to indulge in a steak dinner à deux.

While meal deals continue to dominate the shelves, they attracted 217,000 fewer shoppers this year, driving growth in individual meal elements.

With meat featuring strongly on menus, prepared potato dishes such as creamy gratin and ready-mashed also saw a 26 per cent rise in spend compared to a typical fortnight.

Looking ahead to Valentine’s Day 2020, AHDB analyst Amey Brassington said the occasion offers an opportunity for red meat to increase its share of the ready-to-cook category, to capitalise on the seasonal rise in spend on proteins while fulfilling shoppers’ need for convenience and ease.

She added: “Valentine’s Day is built on sentiment – people want to indulge and impress their loved ones but in the current economic climate they are also cautious about spending money.

“With consumers leaving the meal deal category, there is an opportunity for red meat in ‘full meal’ fixtures, satisfying the need for ease and convenience by guiding shoppers to other elements of a romantic meal, such as prepared potato side dishes, sauces and desserts.”   

For all the news and analysis from AHDB’s consumer and retail insight team, visit