Meat & Livestock News

Easter 2024 Anticipated to Boost Lamb Sales Significantly


  • Easter, along with Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr, is expected to drive up lamb sales in 2024, continuing the trend of increased demand for traditional roast lamb.
  • In 2023, lamb sales surged, with leg roasting joints being the most popular choice for Easter meals, indicating a strong preference for lamb during festive occasions.
  • Despite a predicted slight decline in overall lamb sales due to food inflation, special occasions like Easter are likely to see consumers indulging in higher-quality lamb cuts.

As families across Britain prepare to celebrate Easter, the first bank holiday weekend of 2024, the demand for traditional roast lamb is expected to soar once again.

Following a year where lamb sales reached 80 Kt in supermarkets and the market value climbed to £852m, a 4% increase from the previous year, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) forecasts a continuation of this trend. Retailers are gearing up for the festive season, with promotions aimed at Easter, Ramadan, and Eid-al-Fitr expected to boost lamb demand further.

The 2023 Easter period saw a notable preference for classic lamb roast dinners, with lamb roasting joints experiencing a 25.5% jump in volume sales compared to 2022. Leg roasting joints, in particular, dominated sales, making up nearly 93% of all lamb roasting joints purchased last Easter. This surge in demand was supported by extensive marketing efforts from retailers, showcasing lamb as the centrepiece of the Easter lunch.

Grace Randall, AHDB Retail Insight Manager, highlights the current strength of the lamb trade, with the Standard Quality Quotation (SQQ) for deadweight sheep reaching 722p/kg, significantly higher than the previous year. The export market, alongside demand from key events, continues to bolster the sector. 

However, outside of these festive periods, the impact of food inflation may lead consumers to opt for more affordable proteins, potentially leading to a 2% decrease in overall lamb sales in retail and foodservice for 2024.

Despite these challenges, the special occasions are expected to encourage consumers to spend more on their meals, with lamb being a favoured choice. The proximity of Eid to the Easter period this year may also contribute to increased demand for lamb.

Supermarkets are becoming a more popular choice for Muslim consumers, offering more affordable alternatives to traditional butchers.

Muslims, who account for an estimated 20% of lamb consumption in England, with more than 62% eating lamb weekly, significantly influence lamb sales during religious festivals like Ramadan and Eid. AHDB’s Senior Halal Manager, Awal Fuseini, underscores the importance of these festivals in driving lamb sales.

As we approach Easter 2024, the lamb market is poised for another successful season, with traditional roast lamb remaining a staple of the holiday. While food inflation poses challenges, the allure of high-quality lamb cuts for special occasions is expected to continue drawing consumers, ensuring lamb remains a celebratory favourite.