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UK: BBQs and meat consumption declined in 2021

As Covid-19 restrictions eased this summer, and foodservice re-opened at reduced capacity, the number of BBQs declined. Compared to summer 2020, BBQs lessened by 26% to 80 million occasions, down 29 million from the previous year. In comparison to 2019 figures, however, BBQ occasions were sustained.
calendar icon 15 November 2021
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BBQs peaked in June and August in warmer weather, but waned in July as restrictions were lifted, reported ADHB.

Compared to 2019, BBQ occasions throughout the summer of 2021 saw fewer guests. BBQs with more than five people declined by 64%. AHDB said the decline suggests some people are still reluctant to meet in larger groups or that those larger groups chose to dine out.

While BBQs on the whole declined, the value of the occasion increased 17% to reach £5.03 per occasion, up from £4.30 in 2019.

From a total retail perspective, not necessarily at BBQ occasions, total Meat, Fish and Poultry (MFP) consumed throughout summer 2021 declined on the exceptional year of 2020 by 4.6%, but when comparing back to summer 2019, grew by 4.8% in terms of volume (Kantar, 20 w/e 5 Sept 2021).

All MFP categories saw volume decline in summer 2021 versus summer 2020, with chicken and fish seeing the smallest declines. However, when compared back to the summer of 2019, fish (+6.7%), pork (+6.4%), chicken (+4.8), beef (+2.9%), and lamb (+0.8%) experienced volume growth (Kantar, 20 w/e 5 Sept 2021).

Beef burgers featured at 157 million occasions throughout summer 2021, which is 14% more occasions when compared back to 2019 (Kantar 16 w/e 8 Aug 2021). Burger sales have been driven by both standard and premium label products with volume growth of +20.6% and 13.5% since 2019, in comparison to total burgers which experienced growth of 11.6% (Kantar, 20 w/e 5 Sept 2021). The consumption of burgers is primarily driven by consumers ‘wanting a treat’, but taste and practicality are also key in driving consumption (Kantar, 16 w/e 8 Aug 2021).

Total pork consumed throughout summer 2021 was down 5.3% on summer 2020, but +6.4% when comparing back to summer 2019 (Kantar, 20 w/e 5 Sept 2021). The volume of pork sausages consumed throughout summer 2021 declined 11.8% versus summer 2020 but increased by 6.8% when compared to 2019 (Kantar, 20 w/e 5 Sept 2021).

At a total level, cheese occasions throughout summer 2021 grew by 12% (an additional 221 million occasions) when compared to summer 2019 (Kantar, 16 w/e 8 Aug 2021). The volume of cheese sold was driven by ‘summer cheeses’ which saw significant growth when compared to summer 2019, with Halloumi (+21%), cheese slices (+15%), and Feta/Salad (+10%) respectively (Kantar, 20 w/e 05 Sept 2021).