Fresh meat servings rise 3pc

Beef Central, 24/08/2011


Australia's weekly servings of fresh meat during 2010-11 increased 3 percent compared with the previous year, to average 135.5 million serves.

The growth was attributed to increased purchases of all fresh meat with the exception of lamb, which was constrained by tight supply and increasing retail prices, according to Roy Morgan meat purchasing report data released by MLA last week.

In terms of category share, national weekly lamb purchases decreased by one percentage point to represent 16pc of total fresh meat sold, with sharp falls towards the end of 2010-11 due to surging retail prices. For the first time on record, the average retail prices for lamb exceeded beef in the first quarter of 2011, and maintained the difference during the June quarter.

Meanwhile, servings of other meat stayed firm during 2010-11. Weekly beef and veal purchases were steady, on average accounting for 38pc of total fresh meat. Pork and chicken purchases edged up over the 12 months to June 2011, to 13pc and 29pc respectively, of total fresh meat sold.

Channel shares of major retailers did not change much during 2010-11.

Woolworths remained the largest retailer (32pc market share) of all fresh meat, followed by butchers (25pc), and Coles (20pc). Shares of fresh meat sold through IGA/Foodland decreased two percentage points to 7pc, while Aldi's share stayed firm at 4pc.

Although fresh meat sales through Costco have not been noticeable on a national scale, the two newly opened stores (Sydney and Canberra) this year are expected to result in an increased share in the near future. Costco’s original Melbourne outlet is regarded in some circles as the single largest retail meat outlet in the country.

MLA's preliminary estimates of consumer expenditure on red meat during 2010-11 suggests that spending on beef fell 5pc year-on-year, to $6.7billion – attributed to a 3pc decline in utilisation and 2pc fall in retail prices.

Australian expenditure on lamb also eased 2pc, as the 9pc jump in retail prices partly offset the 10pc fall in utilisation.


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