Meat and dairy consumption 'felt the love in lockdown' with food and drink sales achieving record levels for Valentine's Day this year – up £85m on 2020.
2021 saw the biggest ever Valentine’s for meat fish and poultry, with an extra 16 million kg sold versus 2020, according to new analysis by the AHDB.
In the two weeks leading up to the day compared with the average 50 weeks of the year, beef steaks performed exceptionally, with a retail volume uplift of 26%.
All cuts of beef steak saw volume uplift in the two weeks leading up to the date, with fillet (+29%), ribeye (+29%), and sirloin (+34%) seeing the largest volume uplifts.
This shows consumers were willing to pay more for a ‘treat’ to celebrate the romantic occasion, AHDB's report says.
Dairy also performed well this Valentine’s with numerous categories seeing year-on-year volume growth.
Consumers treated themselves to cheese, with volume growth of +23% - an extra 4.1m kg of cheese sold - compared with the two weeks to Valentine’s Day last year.
Butter volumes increased by 28%, accounting for an extra 1.8m kg sold, following the increased trend for baking as a result of the pandemic.
AHDB's analyst Rachel Rose said the pandemic had led to a unique Valentine’s Day, with couples who would normally eat-out on forced to find new ways to be romantic.
“The latest research shows that beef steaks, potatoes and dairy won the hearts of consumers this year – proving to be the perfect dish to serve up as a treat for loved ones at home,” she said.
The report comes against a background of continuing strong sales of meat and dairy for this year, according to Kantar.
Retail volumes for red meat were up 15.1% in the 4 w/e 24 January 2021 and dairy also showed a strong performance, up 11.8% in volume compared with last January.
And new analysis also highlights a significant increase in value in year-on-year sales in butcher shops across the country.
Around 630,000 more households visited independent retail butchers compared to the previous year, according to figures by Kantar.