Of all protein consumption sector growth in 2018, 80 per cent of this was driven by chicken.
This was one of the stand-out headlines from Nathan Ward, business unit director at Kantar Worldpanel, who spoke at Wales’ inaugural pig and poultry event, organised by Farming Connect and Menter Moch Cymru.
He said that poultry meat and egg producers were in a strong position according to market trends, with figures highlighting a continual steady increase in consumption year-on-year.
And although figures were not quite as healthy in terms of growth for pork, Mr Ward said some of the ‘big food trends’ were impacting on pork in a positive way, which was driving underlying growth within the sector.
He said: “Chicken is growing in fresh and processed markets, with demand seemingly untouched by the concerns of flexitarianism and veganism.
“This versatile meat continues to take a larger share of sales, with more convenient cuts, namely breasts and legs being the main drivers for this growth, thanks to their versatility and fit with what the market is demanding.”
In terms of eggs, Mr Ward highlighted that free-range egg consumption had risen by five to six per cent per year in retail for the past four years, with forecasts suggesting demand would continue to grow.
When it came to pork sales, there had been a resurgence in sale volume terms, according to Mr Ward.
He attributed this to ‘value perceptions’ when consumers were comparing pork to other meat categories but also advertisements, which had looked at different potential consumption occasions for various pork cuts.
Specifically mentioned were AHDB’s pork medallions campaign, which he attributed in-part to a rise of eight per cent in sales of pork steaks last year, as well as its pork shoulder campaign, which he said had stimulated growth in volume sales in this area.