Meat & Livestock News

Boost in Red Meat and Dairy Sales During Christmas Season


  • UK meat sales saw an 11.6% increase in the lead-up to Christmas, with a notable rise in red meat and trimmings like chilled gravy.
  • Turkey remains the top choice for Christmas, but its volume has decreased compared to pre-Covid levels, suggesting changing preferences.
  • Beef and lamb volumes grew significantly, while pork saw a shift in consumer behaviour with fewer buyers purchasing larger quantities.

The Christmas season witnessed a significant increase in meat sales in the UK, with total meat, fish, and poultry (MFP) spending growing by 11.6% year-on-year (YoY) in the two weeks leading up to Christmas Day. This growth occurred despite ongoing cost pressures affecting consumers.

In the red meat category, all proteins performed well in terms of volume. Surprisingly, demand for additional items like chilled gravy also saw an 11% increase YoY, according to data from Kantar. Turkey remained the UK’s preferred choice for the festive roast, with 56% of shoppers opting for it, as reported by IGD.

However, while whole turkeys and turkey crowns/joints accounted for 31.9% of Christmas centrepiece volumes, turkey was the only protein in the MFP category to see a decrease in volumes compared to pre-Covid levels, raising questions about the evolving image of the traditional Christmas dinner.

Beef volumes grew despite a higher average price, and lamb experienced a notable 17.3% YoY rise in volumes, primarily driven by fresh lamb roasting joints. Pork, on the other hand, was the only red meat to lose shoppers to other proteins. However, those who purchased pork bought in larger quantities, resulting in a 3.7% YoY increase in total pork volumes.