Cash-strapped shoppers are buying cheaper cuts of meat for their Easter barbecues than in previous years as the cost of living crisis takes hold.
According to the British Meat Processors Association, families are ditching steaks for burgers and replacing pork chops with sausages in a bid to cut spending.
At Tesco, four pork chops cost £4.60 while a pack of eight sausages sells for £1.70. Four rump steaks cost £15.20, while four burgers cost just £3.
Food prices are rising at their fastest pace in more than a decade, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed last week, with meat prices 5.6% higher in March than the year last.
Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, said this is leading to more people “paying back” for the types of meat they buy.
He said: “Maybe instead of buying steaks, people are now buying burgers. If they normally buy pork chops, they buy sausages. . Volumes will likely stay the same, but people will be looking for the cheapest cuts. »
Industry leaders are still hoping consumers will feast on high-quality options like big legs of lamb for the Easter Sunday roast.
Customers cut at the same time as buyers face higher prices to buy animals from the farm, called “farm prices”.
Mr Allen said: “These prices are skyrocketing right now. We are seeing high prices for beef, lamb and now pork.”
Switching to cheaper cuts is likely to reduce profits, he said.
Mr Allen said: “To be honest, you don’t make a lot of margin selling burgers. We’re anticipating a pretty tough fall with higher farmgate prices and this pressure on the other end of the consumer who doesn’t a no I really have the money to spend on this.”
Meat processing plants are also struggling with costs as they continue to battle labor shortages. Earlier this month, MPs on the environment, food and rural affairs select committee called on the government to ‘immediately’ lower the English language requirement for butchers to make it easier to recruit labor – of foreign work. Estimates suggest that at the end of last year the industry was short by 10,000 to 12,000 workers.
Mr Allen said many companies still do not have enough butchers to help them move animals through the system as efficiently as possible.
He added: “You’re not really maximizing your efficiency, really, because you just don’t have enough staff to do it and that leads to things like wastage. But you have to keep going to get by.”
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This notice was published: 2022-04-15 11:22:43