Beef sales were up 12.7% over the Christmas period as consumers looked for alternatives to turkey over the festive season, according to new figures from EBLEX.
In the four weeks to December 26, fresh meat volume sales overall were up nearly 13% on the same period in 2009, at 28,548 tonnes, with expenditure up 11.3%, the Kantar research for EBLEX revealed. Roasting joint volume sales were up 6.3%, to 10,583 tonnes, while mince was up 15.6% by volume, 13.8% by expenditure.
Over the four-week period in the run up to Christmas, £167.3 million was spent on fresh beef in total.
"The figures are particularly pleasing as the weather was poor, making it more difficult for people to get to the shops, and Christmas fell at a weekend, a time when more people generally have a beef roast anyway which means it is less likely for us to see an additional seasonal spike in beef sales," said Richard Cullen, category development manager for EBLEX.
"Despite this, it seems that more people looked for an alternative meat for Christmas dinner, with beef being the favoured choice.
"With the exception of frying/grilling mince, fresh beef sales were ahead of last Christmas across the board."
The rise came on the back of the EBLEX-backed "Give the bird a break" campaign which saw former England cricketer Darren Gough leading an humorous advertising push encouraging more men to get in the kitchen over Christmas and to make use of beef rather than the more traditional poultry.
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