All meat categories in the December quarter were “notably lower in 2012 than in 2011”, the survey said. Carried out by Millward Brown for the MLA, the survey showed sales of beef, lamb and chicken to be 8% lower than last year, while sales of pork slumped by 7% on the previous year.
However, it added beef sales had performed the best for the butchers surveyed over the period, with 33% reporting sales of beef to be “very good” to “excellent” and 44% saying sales were “good”.
Chicken fared a little worse, with 31% of butchers asked saying sales were “very good” to “excellent”, while a further 41% reported sales of chicken were “good”. 26% said lamb sales were “very good” to “excellent”, and 46% said they were “good”.
Out of the performance of the four meats included in the survey, pork was reported to be the poorest, with just 22% of butchers asked reporting sales to be “very good” to “excellent”.
Popular cuts of the period were beef steaks. However, the MLA survey stated the popularity was not as high as that seen last year at the premium end, although the quality of beef in general helped to drive sales. Lamb was popular, along with sausages; the MLA attributed this to the hot weather, which led people to bring out the barbecue, adding to sales.