Rising inflation and the ever-escalating cost of living crisis are impacting people’s ability to party, with rotisserie sales over the Easter period falling 19% on the year.
With prices rising in stores and consumers with less disposable income, consumer research agency Two Ears One Mouth said the rising cost of living was at the forefront during the period, being a concern of 84% in April 2022, compared to only 37% of consumers. worried about catching Covid. As a result, sales of Easter eggs, lamb roasts and even hot buns all fell during the year.
According to figures from Kantar Worldpanel, retail rotisserie sales totaled 9 million kg for the two weeks to Easter 2022, a colossal 19.2% drop on the year and despite consumers being able to socialize indoors this year.
The numbers are also down 18.2% from 2019, when the Easter heat saw roasting take a back seat to barbecues.
The decline spread to all major proteins, with nearly all showing the exact same trend. Beef rotisseries fell 22%; 21% pork; lamb by 17% and chicken by 16% in the two weeks before Easter. Losses were more evident among older consumers.
Price inflation was seen across all roast offerings and negatively impacted the number of shoppers who purchased in the category. Lamb, the most traditional Easter roast (21% of roast volumes in 2022 vs. 6% for the rest of the year) has seen the biggest price increase and the fastest volume losses.
By comparison, roasting pork saw the smallest price increase and the slowest volume losses, underscoring the real reality of buyer spending capacity. About 57% of lamb losses came from shoppers exiting the roasting category altogether and 12% from shoppers switching to other cheaper protein options, including chicken.
Lamb has the highest price of any roasting meat on the market, at £10.31/kg, around £4 more than the market average. Lamb also sees an inflation rate of +11.5% over one year against an average of +9.7%.
Despite slightly better barbecue weather in 2022, compared to 2021, burger and sausage volumes were also down 9.5%.
According to the report, consumers are returning to the restaurant market, so fewer daily meals are being eaten at home, of which burgers and sausages are among the most popular.
Sales of non-meat products were also down year-over-year, down -1.8% from 2021, reversing the trend of significant Easter volume growth over the past three years.
According to Kantar, health is now back to the fore as a key motivator for eating habits, and is back to February 2020 levels with 28.3% of eating occasions selected this way.
However, the vast majority of UK consumers are not looking to make drastic changes to their diet.
Nevertheless, while the number of people following more restrictive diets such as vegans and vegetarians is stable, over time an increasing number of people are trying to limit their meat consumption.
This leads to more consumers becoming lighter consumers of meat, which has the potential to erode volumes over time. The biggest win, then, is in reassuring this public of the health, sustainability and wellness qualities of red meat and dairy products and the role they can play in a truly balanced diet.