Roast could be this year’s festive dish, says AHDB

PORK roasts could be the Christmas dinner winner – with experts predicting the red meat will challenge the traditional wreath and ‘sleigh’ this festive season.

AHDB analysts unpacked last year’s Christmas, while examining recent shopping behavior and market trends to derive predictions for the Yuletide celebrations.

With turkey losing its share of volume last December, experts believe revelers are moving away from the traditional centerpiece to other options. And with the cost of living crisis leaving many families strapped for cash, Christmas could give pork a boost as it offers a cheaper alternative for those still looking to treat themselves.

The forecast follows warnings this week of a shortage of Christmas turkeys and price hikes due to the country’s biggest-ever bird flu outbreak.

Kim Heath, AHDB’s Senior Retail Insight Manager, said turkey shortages, the cost of living crisis and new shopping trends over the past two Christmases all have the potential to boost sales of red meat this year.

“After two years of unpredictable Christmas times, we were hoping this year would be all about treats and big celebrations,” Kim added. “But the difficult economic situation means that the cost of living crisis makes Christmas 2022 just as unpredictable as a Covid Christmas.

“We will likely see a shift to cheaper rotisseries, in favor of pork. But with a potential shortage of turkeys, there’s an opportunity for people to swap beef and lamb for consumers who want a jaw-dropping centerpiece, especially if they can get more people around the table this year.

Frozen options for meat and dairy desserts may also benefit shoppers watching their budget this holiday season, with standard and value brands likely to steal market share this Christmas.

And with more families coming together this year, after several years of Covid restrictions and uncertainty, larger roast joints could benefit, with many reverting to larger sizes to feed more people on Christmas Day.

According to AHDB analysts, Christmas will remain the biggest seasonal event for retailers as consumers spend more, even in times of economic uncertainty. During the 2008 recession, spending per household on consumer packaged food in December was 11% higher than the average for the previous three months.

However, according to research agency Two Ears One Mouth, 53% of shoppers plan to do more in-store deals and price cuts to cope with the rising cost of living.

Kim added: “Despite the economic situation this year, we can predict with certainty that Christmas will still see significant increases compared to the rest of the year. However, a shopping basket may be different from previous years to cope. budget constraints.

“It should be remembered that the fundamentals of a Christmas shop will remain due to tradition, but small adjustments can be made. With more and more shoppers looking to cut spending, tactical in-store support is going to be essential for the meat and dairy categories. »

See the full forecast at www.ahdb.org.uk/news/consumer-insight-a-cost-of-living-christmas.