Britons are purchasing less meat, fish and poultry in a bid to save money amid the cost of living crisis, market research firm NielsenIQ has revealed.
According to NielsenIQ, volume sales of meat, fish and poultry decreased by 13% in the four weeks to 23 April year-on-year.
The figure also fell by 7.8% year-on-year on a value basis, demonstrating that UK shoppers are reducing their purchases in this category.
The news comes as food CPI has reached 5.9%, the highest since December 2011.
On top this, soaring prices have caused the biggest squeeze on UK household incomes since at least the 1950s with consumer confidence plummeting.
DEFRA minister George Eustice also explained that things got “harder” with chicken, poultry and some fresh produce where rising costs of feed end up “passed through the system because these people work on wafer-thin margins and they have to pass that cost through.”
Co-op CEO Steve Murrells also noted that “chicken could become as expensive as beef” as poultry which is, “incredibly cheap and great value for money, is rising quicker than any other protein.”
In addition to shoppers spending less on meat, NielsenIQ’s data also showed a 15.9% decline in sales on a value basis of beers, wines and spirits over the four week period year-on-year.
Overall, the total sales at UK supermarkets have also fallen by 1.8% on a value basis over the four week year-on-year, with the average items per basket also falling from 11.5 to 11.2.
Nielsen has also seen Aldi and Lidl lead the market in terms of sales growth on a value basis, which have increased by 6.4% and 9.1%, respectively.
“It is clear that as cost-of-living increases continue, retailers will be under pressure to ensure they have consumer mindsets front of mind, which are set to focus more on economising on the number of items purchased,” NielsenIQ UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said.