Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Change in consumer grocery spending

Further to the previous post there is some good news for UK farmers today with news that consumers are cutting back on buying ready made meals, instead favouring primary meat cuts as the recession hits their back pockets.

Having seen the mind boggling array of gourmet and fresh looking ready meals in the supermarkets in the UK, the need to make household savings may the best news the British farmer has had in years.

Ready made meals in the UK are not like what we have here in New Zealand. They are sophisticated and there are literally hundreds of meal varieties you can buy. And unlike the TV dinners of the past, many of these look pretty damn attractive. Gone are the brown peas and shrivelled sticks of carrot, in favour of beautifully blanched broccoli and delectable looking gourmet meat cuts.

Although expensive, these meals have been largely popular with the likes of London's working class, but have further served to alienate the customer from the source of the produce.

So this move away from these types of meals to more chilled red meat cuts (7% in 2008) is good news, and may-be even better news for New Zealand's long term lamb market prospects there.

And it seems Jamie Oliver's poultry crusade may be paying off with reports that free range poultry sales increased by 10% in the UK during 2008.

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