Public splash £812m on fresh beef steaks as sales jump

As well as steaks, other premium beef product ranges continue to allure British shoppers
As well as steaks, other premium beef product ranges continue to allure British shoppers

The British public spent well over £800 million on fresh beef steaks this year, a significant increase of over 11% compared to 2020, new figures show.

Demand for premium beef product continued to grow, while the volume of economy beef sold dropped for the third year in a row, latest Kantar figures show.

Consumers splashed £812m on steaks in the 52 weeks to 8 August 2021, compared to £729m the previous year.

As well as steaks, other premium beef product ranges continued to allure shoppers, accounting for 5.6% of the total beef market, compared to 4.6% the year before.

Interestingly, demand for cheaper beef products continued to wane cementing a three-year trend.

Economy beef accounted for 4.1% of all beef sold, down from 5.8% last year, 6.9% in 2019 and 7.3% in 2018.

During the lockdowns, people were restricted on where they could go and eating out became a ‘dine at home’ situation.

Many may have wanted to recreate that feel-good restaurant experience and upgraded to better quality beef steaks.

With Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations starting next week, both events have the potential to ignite a spark in sales of red meat and dairy.

AHDB retail insight manager Kim Malley said: "The next few weeks look likely to be a sparkler and bring a substantial uplift to retailers.

"If we look at pre-Covid behaviour, both celebrations see seasonal boosts – with Halloween and Bonfire Night having the third and fourth highest seasonal uplifts in grocery.

"Roasting joints, mince and stewing products have the potential to keep consumers under their spell, with hearty, sharing meals featuring at both events."

The findings come as prestigious meat competition the World Steak Challenge returns on 10 November for its seventh year.

Keith Fisher is a fourth-generation family butcher, Institute of Meat chief executive and World Steak Challenge advisor and judge.

He said: “I’m not surprised by the rise in steak sales, especially as there now seems to be a far greater number of really top quality, well-cut, well-trimmed steaks on display in stores."