Price and Provenance Form Framework for Impressive Growth in UK Poultry Market
Key Note Market Report
According to Poultry 2014, a new Market Report from market intelligence provider Key Note,the retail market for poultry in the UK grew by 6.2% in 2013. While this impressive market performance is attributable to a wide variety of causes, price and provenance are of primary significance in the current market.
The efficiency and scale of output at mass-production poultry sites is such that prices at retail have not inflated to the same extent as carcass meats since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. As such, poultry is increasingly seen to be providing value for money, which is a key sales driver among UK consumers, the majority of whom are yet to feel the effect of a gradual economic recovery in their pockets. According to an exclusive consumer survey commissioned by Key Note in May 2014, 22.1% of respondents stated that they regularly purchased poultry because they considered it to be a cheaper alternative to other meats. This is contributing to the wider popularity of poultry in general; 52.3% of respondents in the survey claimed to buy more poultry than other meats. This high level of penetration is based on the versatility of poultry, and especially chicken, as a cooking ingredient, as well as its status as a low-fat alternative to red meat among an increasingly health-conscious consumer base. These trends have contributed to substantial market growth in 2013.
Market value has also been enhanced by the growing demand for provenance, amid wider ethical concerns relating to animal welfare and processing standards. This trend has been developing steadily in recent years, but was exacerbated in 2013 with the exposure of the horsemeat scandal. Concern over the complexity of food chains has encouraged sales of British meat, particularly meat which is ethically assured (such as organic or free range). According to the same consumer survey, commissioned by Key Note in May 2014, 67.7% of respondents admitted to being concerned by welfare conditions, production standards and the provenance of meat. This concern is fuelling sales for more expensive, ethically produced meat, which is bolstering market value.
Given that inflation is forecast to remain high throughout the next 5 years, and that issues such as genetic modification (GM) are compounding ethical concerns in the global meat industry, the UK poultry market outlook is encouraging. In coming years, chicken will become even more dominant within the poultry market and wider meat industry, while sales of less popular meats such as duck and goose will pick up following challenging post-recession trade conditions. As such, Key Note forecasts that the UK poultry market will grow by a dramatic 23.4% between 2014 and 2018.