New retail data released by Kantar Worldpanel has revealed that 2020 is turning into a bumper year for British lamb.
The figures, covering 12 weeks to 4 October, show that shoppers spent 15.5% more on lamb than during the same period last year, and consumed 11% more by volume.
Taking the year as a whole, lamb sales have rebounded strongly after a poor Easter – traditionally a time of peak demand, but this year badly impacted by lockdown rules on family gatherings.
Since then, consumers have looked to new options as they’ve had more time to cook at home, and lamb has been a popular choice, according to Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) – Meat Promotion Wales.
Total spending on lamb in Britain is now up 7.9% on the year to date, a period when red meat bodies and retailers invested in increased promotion in-store and via social media.
HCC said the figures suggested that the main reason for lamb’s growth in popularity was not only that existing consumers were buying more, but that new customers were giving lamb a try.
The number of people purchasing lamb is up 9%, with nearly a third of households buying it at least once during the 12-week period.
While lamb is still most popular among older consumers, this year has seen a number of younger shoppers trying lamb.
A strong year-on-year increase in terms of the volume of lamb purchased has been seen in households with children (+17.2%) and shoppers aged under 45 (+13.4%).
HCC’s data analyst Glesni Phillips said: “After instability in the markets earlier in the year due to the disruption of the foodservice and hospitality trade, lamb’s popularity has been a notable feature of the British retail market.
“Our marketing strategy has centered on responding to consumer trends in this very unusual year – working with famous chefs to encourage people to try out new ideas at home.
“We’re pleased that the data shows increasing numbers of families and younger consumers trying lamb. We’ll continue to target marketing at this group in the run-up to Christmas.”