Meat & Livestock News

New Zealand’s Yuletide Favourite: Lamb Takes the Crown

A portrait of a small adorable lamb in the field near the fence at sunset

It’s official: When it comes to the Christmas feast in New Zealand, lamb is the star of the show! Retail Meat New Zealand’s annual festive survey – a bit of a tradition now in its sixth year – has thrown up some interesting numbers. Gathering thoughts from over 3,000 Kiwis, the survey reveals that 34.29% are all in for lamb, nudging just ahead of ham, which snagged 33.17% of the votes.

But the festive table isn’t just about the main meat. In the battle of the sides, potatoes and kumara are the champions, with 91.03% and 55.82% of the votes, respectively. And let’s not forget the greens – broccoli, carrots, and salads are also claiming their spots on the Kiwi Christmas dinner table.

As for the grand finale – the dessert – pavlova is the queen, relished by 70.13% of the folks. Trifle, strawberries with ice cream, and fruit salad are also cut, ensuring the Christmas feast ends on a sweet note.

Katie Ward from Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc chimed in on the survey’s findings. She’s all about the role of food in bringing people together during the festive season. And when it comes to feeding a crowd, she reckons a leg of lamb is not just tasty but also ideal.

The survey didn’t stop at food, though. It peeked into what else goes down on Christmas Day in Kiwi households. Opening presents is a biggie (77.47%), followed by backyard games (47.08%) and movie marathons (41.65%).

Oh, and about that Christmas (fruit) cake debate? Turns out, most folks (82.5%) are either fans or okay with it. Only a handful (17.08%) aren’t on board, and a tiny fraction haven’t even tried it. So, it looks like Christmas cake isn’t going anywhere!