Growing consumer preference for provenance and versatility when choosing meat puts Welsh pork in a good position this Christmas – according to research highlighted by Menter Moch Cymru (MMC).

Using research and category insights by bodies such as Kantar, Welsh Government, The Food People, The Grocer magazine, and the BBC’s The One Show, MMC has provided Welsh pork producers with a snapshot of consumers’ buying and cooking habits.

The findings are detailed in the latest technical article by MMC – a project that works with all sectors of the supply chain to develop a more sustainable, profitable and robust pig industry in Wales.

Environmental considerations are increasingly at the forefront of consumers’ minds, as demonstrated by a carbon footprint reduction survey by The One Show. Participants were asked to rank 20 expert-chosen changes that they would be willing to make to reduce their carbon footprint.

  1. In their responses, “eat locally and seasonally” came a close second to the top ranked option “eat less meat”. This response shows the importance for pork products to tell a clear story while focussing on local and environmental credentials – particularly as the likelihood is there will be more carbon neutral messaging around farming practices. Despite the rise in plant-based foods, only 1.9 per cent of households include someone who follows a vegan diet. The MMC article highlights the advantages meat has over plant-based alternatives – such as meat’s ability to display detailed sourcing and traceability information that consumers desire. In the future, the article says premium meat offerings will become increasingly important as consumers try to reduce their meat intake but look for quality produce on special occasions. Steak, for example, has seen a huge sales increase.
  2. There is also an opportunity to present pork as a low-cost, value for money alternative to chicken. At roughly half the price per kilo of beef and lamb, pork is a strong contender on value while also competing on premium requirements through its high-quality, traceability, and local attributes.
  3. The article also looks at the change in cooking habits and highlights the average preparation time for an evening or lunchtime meal in the UK is just 19 minutes. Consequently, the article points out, it is important to offer consumers cuts and cooking solutions that incorporate pork into quick, easy mid-week meal occasions.
  4. When it comes to eating out, research has shown diners, and guests in Wales want more Welsh food and drink on menus, and many are willing to pay more for a Welsh dish.
  5. Flavour and product trends provide exciting opportunities for pork, especially considering that the UK had 55 million more BBQs this year compared to 2019. Changes in dining style create more opportunities for innovative pork dishes, too, with new flavours and twists on favourites.
  6. The article concludes on a festive note, detailing that consumers are likely to be buying early this Christmas. They are looking for a provenance story behind their pork products and can be enticed by exciting flavours and comforting traditional offerings like pigs in blankets.

Previous articles and December’s full article can be accessed via the MMC Resource Hub