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Continental meats take bigger slice of UK cooked meat market

16 November 2021

Continental meats accounted for 15% of value of sliced cooked meat sales

Before the current health crisis, sliced cooked meat and continental meats struggled to find growth. However, for the 12 weeks ending 5 September 2021, volumes are up 12% year on year, and up 30% on the same period in 2019.

Branded continental meats account for 9% of volumes in the last 12 weeks and have seen growth of 36% year on year, reported AHDB. Within private label, standard tier makes up 96% of volume sales with 4% of sales being premium.

Continental hams, such as Brunswick and Smoked Bavarian, are the largest sub-sector within continental meats, followed by Salami.

Serrano ham has seen the fastest growth over the past three months, up 35% year on year, though from a smaller base.

Meals with continental meat are most likely to be had in the evening, with 31% of continental meat meals being eaten for dinner. Only 4% of continental meats are eaten as snacks, much lower than AHDB experts expected. Snacking accounts for 20% of all meals and is currently the fastest growing occasion, so capitalising on this growth could be a big opportunity for continental meats.

Cheese is most likely to be eaten alongside continental meats, with 50% of continental meat meals also containing cheese. Other accompaniments are vegetables (47%), bread (31%) and morning goods such as croissants (24%).

Continental meats are eaten for enjoyment. When asked why they eat continental meats, 77% of consumers say it is because they enjoy the taste, compared to 64% of total food eaten for this reason. They are much less likely to be viewed as healthy, with only 17% of continental meats eaten for health reasons.

Eight per cent of continental meats are eaten because they need using up, compared to only 1% for total food. Therefore, it is worth considering a change to pack sizing to reduce food waste or having packaging which is resealable so that the product will last longer in the fridge, concluded the report.


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