Treat meals can benefit certain premium meat products

Wednesday, 28 June 2023

While the increased cost-of-living concerns have resulted in growth of supermarket value ranges, there are still signs that when consumers can treat in-home, potentially replicating out-of-home meals, they do, presenting an opportunity for premium meat products.

According to our research, nearly three in five consumers whose household finances have worsened claim they are going to spend less on eating-out.

Despite this, consumers are still looking to treat themselves, with 55% of shoppers agreeing they would be willing to pay extra for better quality meat (AHDB/YouGov Tracker, May 23), despite the current economic challenges.

This is known as the ‘lipstick effect’, the theory that when faced with an economic crisis, consumers will be more willing to buy affordable treats and/or indulge in guilty pleasures, albeit less often.

Kim Heath, Senior Retail Insight Manager, said:

“When choosing out-of-home (OOH) treats, we know consumers favour meat-based dishes such as lamb, steaks and burgers. What is evident in recent demand data is that some of these areas are actually seeing some positive trade up within retail, bucking the overall grocery and total meat, fish and poultry (MFP) trend.”

Within beef, steaks overall are seeing volume declines of -7.3%, driven by all cuts. However, when delving deeper into the data we can see that among the cheapest steak cut, rump (average price of £15.40 per kg versus total steaks at £16.37 per kg), the premium tier has grown by 0.2%, stealing 0.5% share of the rump category.

Some shoppers who have, in the past, purchased standard sirloin and premium fillet steaks, both higher-cost cuts, are now buying premium rump steaks instead. Therefore, among some consumers, buying premium, but cheaper steak cuts is a way to save money while still enjoying their favourite dishes.

Within pork, we have seen growth among premium products, specifically shoulder roasts, chops, belly and mince. Premium pork cuts may, therefore, offer an opportunity for those who feel the need to trade down protein to save money, but who still want to deliver a treat meal opportunity.

Within beef, pork and lamb, a positive trend is seen for premium added-value offerings. In the sous vide category, where food is vacuum-sealed in a cooking pouch and cooked in a water bath, the premium beef tier has seen volume growth of 17.9%, pork 63.7% and lamb 12.0% (Kantar, 12 w/e 14 May 23), with direct switching seen from the standard tier.

Within the lamb premium tier, growth of 37.4% is also seen for marinades, stealing just over 7% volume share of the lamb marinade category.

Kim added:

“While current financial difficulties favour the lower-priced tiers, the ‘lipstick effect’ still provides opportunities for treat meals. Capitalising on these occasions is vital, with tasty red meat meal inspiration and reassurance around premium quality meat at point of purchase.”

Find out more about this research

Image of staff member Kim Heath

Kim Heath

Lead Retail Insight Manager

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