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AHDB European Market Survey

08 June 2012

AHDB European Market Survey - 8 June 2012AHDB European Market Survey - 8 June 2012

Consumer panel data and market reports from various Member States confirm the pressures on consumer spending in the EU (see EMS12/21) and on the demand for meat.


Consumer demand for meat in EU suffering

In France, data from Kantar Worldpanel for 2012 up to 15 April indicate that total meat purchases (including further processed products) were unchanged year on year. This was the result of the poor economic situation, which at the same time resulted in only small price rises. Trends in household purchases varied considerably by meat, with beef and veal under the greatest pressure and losing market share to other meats. The decline in purchases of beef amounted to three per cent with average price rises of three per cent resulting in expenditure being unchanged. For frozen minced beef, which is categorised separately, household purchases were also down three per cent. Lower demand and reduced supply availability contributed to the eight per cent decline in veal purchases while prices rose by three per cent.

French purchases of fresh pork were unchanged, helped by intense promotional activity, while prices rose by five per cent. In contrast household purchases of lamb were up 25 per cent but this was mainly due to the fact that Easter is included in this year’s figures, unlike last year when it was later in April. The lamb supply situation was also somewhat better than last year, when there were shortages of imported product. The strong performance of charcuterie products was helped by good demand for cheaper products, especially bacon products, whereas ham purchases were marginally lower.

In contrast to France, consumer panel data for Spain surprisingly suggest some small recovery in household purchases. Data from MARM, the Spanish Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, indicate that in the 12 months ended March 2012, total meat purchases were up two per cent year on year with similar increases for all the main fresh meats with the exception of sheep meat which was down four per cent. This was helped by overall retail price stability, mainly the result of price falls for pig meat (both fresh and processed). Given the deteriorating economic situation in Spain, some downturn in purchases seems inevitable in the coming months.

Demand for meat is also under some pressure in Italy, with household purchases down one per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2012 with all meats under pressure. Total spending on meat was also marginally down.

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