UK meat has a great opportunity in online

In 2021, online’s share of grocery sales plateaued at 10.3%, up 3.9 percentage points (%pts) on pre-pandemic levels (2019) according to an AHDB analysis. However, its growth is predicted to accelerate with share hitting 11.2% in 2027, accounting for £1 in every £9 spent on grocery (IGD, UK Channel Forecasts, June 2022). This will be driven by channel innovation, new fulfilment capacity, expansion of rapid delivery services and an appeal among budget conscious consumers. 72% of shoppers buy groceries online because they find it easier to control their spending (AHDB, Online Meat Shopper Journey, 2019), resonating with the current cost of living crisis.

Posted on Jun 30 ,07:23

UK meat has a great opportunity in online

Undoubtedly the pandemic had a huge impact on online grocery shopping with the number of households using the channel increasing by 11%pts at the peak in 2020, according to Kantar. The channel typically over indexes among family shoppers but the pandemic bought in a new older shopper. Since then, penetration has reached saturation, remaining at 39% in 2021. However, among those already shopping online, the frequency of grocery shops is increasing (an average of 22 times online in the year), with an average spend of £71 per shop. In the last year, meat, fish and poultry (MFP) sold online has been worth £2.6bn, accounting for 12.2% of total MFP sales (Kantar, 52 w/e 15 May 22). It is a particularly important category to drive higher spend due to its price point.  

Sales of MFP online have been boosted by the increase in shopper numbers with volumes up 57% compared to pre-pandemic (Kantar, 12 we 17 April 2022). However, MFPs growth online is slowing faster than total grocery and as yet some MFP categories do not achieve their fair share of the online market. Fish, pork and added value have done particularly well online versus pre-pandemic, with promotional support boosting these categories. As shopping online naturally means shoppers can’t interact with products (56% claim they find it hard to buy meat online because they can’t see it according to AHDBs latest research), higher priced proteins and cuts, like lamb roasting and beef marinades, under perform online.

Therefore, for meat to reach its full potential online the category needs to better engage shoppers through improving the shopper experience.

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