Meat & Livestock News

UK’s Festive Dining: Pork Overtakes Turkey as Preferred Choice

Butcher holding pork meat on kitchen on wooden table on blue studio background

In a significant shift in the UK’s festive dining habits, pork is increasingly becoming the preferred choice over turkey for Christmas meals. This trend has been reported by Pilgrim’s UK, a subsidiary of the US-based Pilgrim’s Pride Corp and a leading producer of higher-welfare pork in Britain.

Statistics from Pilgrim’s UK reveal a noticeable decrease in turkey consumption during the Christmas season, with figures dropping from 10% to 7% in 2022. This decline is contrasted by a nearly 16% fall in the volume share of Turkey compared to the 2021 holiday season. Meanwhile, the demand for pork products is on the rise.

To accommodate this growing preference for pork, Pilgrim’s UK has ramped up its production efforts. The company is preparing to produce over 65 million packages of pork in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

Their product range includes gammon, a type of cooked or dry-cured pork from the hind leg, similar to ham in the US, and pork crackling joints. The shift in consumer choice is partly attributed to last year’s concerns over turkey shortages and the appealing lower price and versatility of pork.

Rachel Griffiths, Chief Commercial Officer at Pilgrim’s UK, commented on the company’s readiness to meet this new demand. “We are producing over 36 million high-quality pork products for this Christmas,” she said. Griffiths highlighted the value for money offered by pork, with gammon joints priced at approximately £6 per kg, in contrast to turkey at £10 per kg. She also mentioned the convenience of cooking pork using methods like slow cookers or air fryers.

Griffiths further noted the versatility and appeal of gammon as a Christmas dish, easy to prepare and cook, and offers a range of options for leftover recipes.

This change in the UK’s holiday dining preferences signifies a notable move away from the traditional turkey, with pork emerging as a popular alternative.