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UK unprocessed Poultry and Red Meat market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Unprocessed Poultry and Red Meat market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This Report examines UK retail sales of unprocessed poultry and red meat as well as retail sales of game.

Unprocessed poultry and red meat is defined as comprising retail sales of chilled and frozen cuts of chicken, turkey, duck and goose in whole bird or portion format, and chilled and frozen cuts of beef, pork and lamb (including mutton) such as roasts, steaks and chops.

The market size also includes minced, diced and stewing meats, as well as offal products such as liver, and meat which has been marinated or glazed with a sauce.

The market size for game includes unprocessed and processed pheasant, venison, guinea fowl, grouse, partridge, wood pigeon, wild duck, wild boar, rabbit and hare.

Processed poultry and red meat, including bacon, burgers, sausages, breaded, battered and formed products and cooked sliced or cured meat, as well as canned meats to be served hot and cold, are excluded from this Report.

What you need to know

Estimated at £6.8 billion in 2018, the unprocessed red meat, poultry and overall game retail market grew by a modest 1.2% over 2017-18, with inflation set to drive the market going forward, expected to reach £7.6 billion by 2023.

The price-driven nature of the market is indicated by 45% of buyers citing low price as a factor influencing choice. That 64% of meat eaters/buyers would cut back amid rising prices signals a warning to the market, with the pressure on retailers to keep this basket staple affordable, given it is such as regular purchase, eaten by 93%.

However, there are opportunities to encourage trading up, with 42% of meat eaters/buyers buying premium cuts for the weekend. Tapping into this treat aspect could also serve to appeal to consumers who are otherwise avoiding meat because of health concerns, granting permission to consumers to buy into the category

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Amy Price, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Openness to recipe suggestions probably offers the simplest way to encourage consumers to experiment with different types of meat to widen their repertoire. This would also tap into their love of cooking and willingness to try something new. Recipe suggestions could also help to drive awareness of cheaper cuts, breaking down potential barriers due to unfamiliarity. Amy Price
Senior Food & Drink Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Sales of meat edge up in 2018
              • Figure 1: Forecast of UK retail value sales of unprocessed meat, poultry and game*, 2013-23
            • Poultry sees sales grow as it retains number one spot
              • Beef sales are flat
                • Pork sees consumers cut back as prices rise
                  • Lamb has seen steepest price rises
                    • Environmental concerns surround packaging and meat production
                      • Growth in incomes could drive premiumisation
                        • Companies and brands
                          • NPD looks to cater to consumers’ desire for convenience
                            • Own-label looks to premium innovation to add value
                              • Recent launches tap into healthy eating trends
                                • Products make environmental/ethical credentials tangible
                                  • Advertisers have spent almost £20 million so far in 2018
                                    • The consumer
                                      • Meat eating is almost universal
                                        • Figure 2: Frequency of eating unprocessed poultry, meat and game, by type, July 2018
                                      • British origin is important to 40%
                                        • Figure 3: Factors influencing choice when buying unprocessed meat, July 2018
                                      • 64% would cut back if the price of meat were to rise
                                        • Figure 4: Behaviours related to unprocessed poultry and red meat, July 2018
                                      • Environmental concerns about packaging are widespread among consumers
                                        • Figure 5: Attitudes towards meat, poultry and game, July 2018
                                      • What we think
                                      • Issues and Insights

                                        • Convenient solutions appeal to time-pressed consumers
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • While affordability is important, there are opportunities to trade people up
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • Recipe suggestions could support uptake of lesser-known cheaper cuts
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                          • Environmental concerns about packaging are common among consumers
                                                            • The facts
                                                              • The implications
                                                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Sales of meat edge up in 2018
                                                                  • Inflation set to drive future growth
                                                                    • Poultry sees sales grow as it retains number one spot
                                                                      • Beef sales are flat
                                                                        • Pork sees consumers cut back as prices rise
                                                                          • Lamb has seen steepest price rises
                                                                            • Environmental concerns surround packaging and meat production
                                                                              • Growth in incomes could drive premiumisation
                                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                • Sales edge up in 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 6: UK retail value sales of unprocessed meat, poultry and game*, 2013-23
                                                                                • Inflation set to drive future growth
                                                                                  • Figure 7: Forecast of UK retail value sales of unprocessed meat, poultry and game*, 2013-23
                                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                                • Market Segmentation

                                                                                  • Poultry sees sales grow as it retains number one spot
                                                                                    • Figure 8: UK retail value sales of unprocessed poultry and meat and game, by segment, 2013-18
                                                                                  • Beef sales are flat
                                                                                    • Pork sees consumers cut back as prices rise
                                                                                      • Lamb has seen steepest price rises
                                                                                        • Game sees strong growth
                                                                                          • Offal hindered by image
                                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                                            • Environmental concerns surround packaging and meat production
                                                                                              • Plastic waste comes under the spotlight
                                                                                                • Concerns raised around meat production
                                                                                                  • Meat reduction trend continues
                                                                                                    • Figure 9: Meat eating habits, July 2018
                                                                                                    • Figure 10: Sainsbury’s unveils plant-based mince, July 2018
                                                                                                  • Growth in incomes provides an opportunity for premiumisation
                                                                                                    • Meat’s role in budgets makes price a central factor
                                                                                                      • Meat prices expected to rise
                                                                                                        • Depreciation of the Pound pushes up prices in 2017/18
                                                                                                          • Further inflation on the cards for 2018/19
                                                                                                            • Poultry benefits from subdued inflation, lamb has seen prices rise
                                                                                                              • Figure 11: Retail price index for meat and poultry, by type, September 2013-September 2018
                                                                                                            • Antibiotic use sees ongoing decline
                                                                                                              • China lifts beef imports ban
                                                                                                                • Food safety and animal welfare breaches appear
                                                                                                                  • Red Tractor to introduce tougher inspection programme
                                                                                                                    • 2 Sisters no longer in emergency measures
                                                                                                                      • BBC investigation discovers meat containing DNA from other species
                                                                                                                        • Defra unveils Livestock Information Service for traceability
                                                                                                                          • Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society earmarks DNA traceability scheme
                                                                                                                          • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                            • NPD looks to cater to consumers’ desire for convenience
                                                                                                                              • Own-label looks to premium innovation to add value
                                                                                                                                • Recent launches tap into healthy eating trends
                                                                                                                                  • Products make environmental/ethical credentials tangible
                                                                                                                                    • Advertisers have spent almost £20 million so far in 2018
                                                                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                      • Catering to consumers’ desire for convenience
                                                                                                                                        • Sainsbury's introduces 'no touch' chicken packs…
                                                                                                                                          • …and individual portions suitable for freezing
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Sainsbury’s launches individually sealed turkey breast portions, 2018
                                                                                                                                          • Speeding up the cooking process
                                                                                                                                            • Sure-to-succeed solutions
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 13: Sainsbury’s unveils roast-in-the-bag chicken thighs and drumsticks, 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Offering slow-cooked meat that is quick to cook
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Slow-cooked meats that are quick to cook, 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Thin cuts reduce cooking times
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 15: M&S launches ‘flatties’ chicken escalopes, 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Looking to premium innovation to add value
                                                                                                                                              • Iceland launches 14-strong steak range
                                                                                                                                                • Aldi relaunches Tomahawk steaks in time for Father’s Day
                                                                                                                                                  • Aldi increases dry-ageing to 36 days for its steaks
                                                                                                                                                    • Asda lists game
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Asda stocks venison and pheasant products, 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Tapping into healthy eating trends
                                                                                                                                                      • Highlighting low fat content
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Products with a low-fat claim or that are naturally low in fat, 2018
                                                                                                                                                        • Appealing to meat reducers with added veg content
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Men’s Health launches beef and chickpea mince, 2018
                                                                                                                                                        • Communicating protein content
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Waitrose calls out high protein content, 2018
                                                                                                                                                        • Environmental/ethical credentials
                                                                                                                                                          • Calling out animal welfare standards
                                                                                                                                                            • A focus on outdoor breeding
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: M&S references animal welfare credentials on front of pack, 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Calling out absence of antibiotics
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: The Black Farmer calls out absence of antibiotics in pork, 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Online retailer offers wonky steaks
                                                                                                                                                            • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                              • Advertisers have spent almost £20 million so far in 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on meat, poultry and game^, 2014-18 (sorted by 2018)
                                                                                                                                                              • Red meat bodies launch joint campaign…
                                                                                                                                                                • …focusing on pork…
                                                                                                                                                                  • …and thin cut steaks…
                                                                                                                                                                    • …and promotes lamb recipes
                                                                                                                                                                      • Drawing attention to traceability and provenance
                                                                                                                                                                        • Red Tractor launches campaign
                                                                                                                                                                          • Morrisons’ new TV push puts its suppliers in the limelight
                                                                                                                                                                            • M&S emphasises its unparalleled traceability standards for beef
                                                                                                                                                                              • Lidl Surprises goes behind the scenes of suppliers
                                                                                                                                                                                • Aldi showcases its ethical credentials in its debut “Everyday Amazing” ad
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Co-op raises awareness of its 100% British Meat Pledge
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Focusing on bringing people together with food
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tesco Food Love Stories campaign inspires meals through personal stories
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Co-op unveils its ‘year of eating together’ strategy
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Spar invites people to host barbeque parties in its new ‘SPARbecue’ campaign
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Price is a focus
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tesco features price in campaigns
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Tesco advertises Exclusively at Tesco range of brands on social media, 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Asda also mentions price
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Meat eating is almost universal
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • British origin is important to 40%
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 64% would cut back if the price of meat were to rise
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Opportunities for trading up at the weekend for 42%
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Environmental concerns about packaging are widespread among consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumers are open to experimentation
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Usage of Meat, Poultry and Game

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Meat eating is almost universal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Chicken is the most popular meat, eaten by 91%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Beef is a close second but lags on frequency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Frequency of eating unprocessed poultry, meat and game, by type, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Men have a wider repertoire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Types of unprocessed poultry, meat and game eaten, by gender, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Higher earners show above-average usage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Types of unprocessed poultry, meat and game eaten, by annual household income, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 45% of adults eat more than four types of meat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Repertoire of types of unprocessed poultry, meat and game eaten, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Factors Influencing Choice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • British origin is important to 40%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • British origin could warrant more focus going forward
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Factors influencing choice when buying unprocessed meat, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Health is a consideration, with 28% looking for low fat content
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Easy and quick-to-cook meat appeals to minority
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: The amount of time people spend and time they would prefer to spend preparing and cooking a typical evening meal, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Behaviours Related to Meat, Poultry and Game

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 64% would cut back if the price of meat were to rise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Behaviours related to unprocessed poultry and red meat, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Price is top factor in meat purchase and drives choice of shop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Promotions encourage trial among 64%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunities for trading up at the weekend for 42%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Meat avoidance poses a threat with 33% eating more vegetarian food and 27% cutting back on red meat for health
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards Meat, Poultry and Game

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Environmental concerns about packaging are widespread among consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Traceability appeals to 70%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Attitudes towards meat, poultry and game, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumers are open to experimentation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Recipe suggestions appeal to 67%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Looking to foodservice for inspiration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • In-store advisers would encourage trial among 22%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Online meat boxes aid experimentation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Smaller packs appeal to 60%, especially one-person households and older consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Agreement with the statement “There should be a greater variety of meat in smaller pack sizes”, by age, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: UK value sales of unprocessed meat, poultry and game*, best- and worst-case forecast, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Factors Influencing Choice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: The amount of time people spend and time they would prefer to spend preparing and cooking a typical evening meal, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Attitudes towards Meat, Poultry and Game

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: UK households, by size, 2013-23