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Supermarkets Insist on British Pork

13 November 2013

UK - Pork generally is struggling in a tough marketplace as shoppers watch their pennies, but specifically British pork is currently a star performer‚ streets ahead of the rest of the market.

Nervous shoppers, still worried about contaminated food following Horsegate, are making a point of looking for British pork, which is why some processors are struggling to get enough at the moment.

It also explains why cheap continental pork continues to look unappetising, even though it is currently as much as 35 pence a kilo less.

The amount of British pork flying off supermarket shelves is up seven per cent and expenditure has increased 3 per cent, compared with the same 12 weeks to mid-October last year.

And in the latest four week reporting period, pork has continued to make strong gains in both volume and spending as shoppers switch from beef and lamb in response to supermarket promotions.

According to the most recent Porkwatch survey, many retailers are now 100 per cent British pork, including Waitrose, Aldi, Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainbury's.

But where shoppers cannot find British pork, they are being careful with their pennies. They continue to cut back on the amount they buy, in response to higher prices and generally difficult times.

The amount of pork overall sold in the 12 weeks to 13 October dropped two per cent compared with the same period last year, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

But shoppers are staying loyal to the most versatile meat during these straitened times — although they are buying slightly less, they are spending three per cent more than they did over the same period last year.

Pig marketing group Meadow Quality has reported a spot buyer offering 178p a kilo on Friday. And it notes at least three Saturday kills have been cancelled — the implication being that despite abundant supplies of bargain-basement continental product, retailers are insisting, "It must be British — that's what our customers want".

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