Red meat sales soared over Easter, figures show

Traditional roast lamb was once again the flavour of Easter this year
Traditional roast lamb was once again the flavour of Easter this year

British consumers flocked from chicken to lamb for Easter 2021 as red meat sales soared, according to analysis by AHDB.

Traditional roast lamb was once again the flavour of Easter this year, as more shoppers switched from chicken to lamb than any other meat.

AHDB's analysis shows that compared to the strict restrictions of last year, 2021’s more normal festivities were a winner for all red meat categories.

Growth was seen in roasting volume sales across beef (45%), lamb (42%) and pork (25%), while whole chicken sales declined for the first time in years.

Pork roasting joints also gained considerably on 2019 figures, seeing a 36 percent increase in volume sales, AHDB explains.

Likely due to many watching their spending, with 42 percent saying they are more price conscious than they were pre-Covid.

Butchers also felt the benefits of a more sociable Easter, with shopper numbers hitting a five-year high.

Sales of roasting joints and whole birds were up by 15 percent on 2020, and 20 percent on 20191.

AHDB’s retail insight analyst Grace Randall said: “Easter is a key celebration for all roasting joints, particularly lamb, with 15% of annual sales coming from the Easter period alone.

"Last year, many didn’t celebrate Easter or turned to chicken due to lockdown restrictions, but this year we have certainly seen a significant return to lamb.

"Google searches for 'BBQ' boomed the weekend before Easter and volume sales of sausages, burgers, grills and steaks all grew from 2019 levels."

It comes as the number of people adopting a 'flexitarian' diet falls to its lowest levels in four years, according to a recent report.

Those not following any sort of conscious meat avoidance diet has risen to 81%, representing a staggering 52.4 million people in the UK, Kantar data shows.

The number of people following a flexitarian lifestyle - a primarily vegetarian diet which occasionally incorporates meat or fish - is also down 16% on last year.