UK: Meat Consumption Falling

Data on consumer buying pattern throughout the United Kingdom indicates an overall fall in the purchase of meat and poultry for the 12-week period upto 9 Septenber 2008 when compared to the same period in 2007. According to a Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) bulletin, total meat and poultry consumption has fallen by 10 percent with the largest fall recorded in the beef category, 24 percent.


Beef continues to have the largest market share of the meat and poultry category at just below 50 per cent. This is six per cent less than the same period last year. In terms of quantity of beef consumed, total beef purchased in the 12 week period up to 7 September 2008 as compared to the same period in 2007 fell by 24 per cent to 3.9 million kgs from 5.1 million kgs. The average price per kilogramme increased to £6.10 (an increase of 17 per cent). Perhaps significantly, the only cut within the beef category showing an increase in quantity sold was mince with an increase of 2.3 per cent.


Lamb market share of the meat and poultry sector has shown a one per cent increase to 18 per cent from 17 per cent. There has also been a marked increase in the number of people purchasing lamb with the data showing that 43 per cent of consumers are buying lamb product, an increase of 13 per cent. The most dramatic increase in cuts of meat has been lamb mince as compared against cuts from all categories, with sales up by 37 per cent.

Other Meats & Poultry

Bacon and Sausages are the categories showing the highest increases in consumption. Although one of the smallest categories in the sector with total sales being just three per cent, the quantity of bacon purchased has increased by 20 per cent to 421,000 kgs and the spend for these purchases is up 47 per cent to £2.4 million.