Public bought more red meat than usual this Christmas

It was a bumper Christmas for beef as consumers enjoyed a more varied festive diet
It was a bumper Christmas for beef as consumers enjoyed a more varied festive diet

The British public enjoyed more beef, lamb and pork than usual at Christmas as many families catered for smaller gatherings during Covid-19 restrictions.

New retail sales figures for December 2020 have just been published by Kantar Worldpanel, painting a positive picture for the UK red meat sector.

The data suggests that late-2020 campaigns were successful in addressing consumers’ needs during a period when festivities were likely to be on a more intimate scale.

Figures show that 645,000 more people in Britain bought a beef roasting joint in December compared with the same period in 2019, and overall spending on beef was £1.1m higher.

Consumers also spent £2.2 million more on pork and £445,000 more on lamb during their lockdown Christmas, with some moving away from the traditional turkey roast.

Throughout November and December, campaigns - such as the one seen by Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) - were aimed at raising awareness of red meat as options for people who were cooking for smaller groups.

HCC Market Development Manager, Rhys Llywelyn said: “We anticipated that Christmas demand was likely to be different this year.

"With this in mind we concentrated on advertising on both traditional and social media, promoting alternative festive meals with lamb, beef and pork.

"We also emphasised the value of local purchasing; and many high street butchers – who have been so vital in supporting their communities through the pandemic – reported very strong trade this December."

HCC said it would continue to support the red meat sector in January, with new promotions themed around health and sustainability.