Ramadan has become an increasingly important event in the grocery calendar as retailers and suppliers plan activity around the Islamic month of daylight fasting.
Dedicated areas on retailers’ websites offer Ramadan products, while in-store activity includes bespoke fixtures and signage and some branded PoS, such as the Pringles Ramadan free-standing display unit in some stores this year.
The industry’s growing engagement with Ramadan – which ended this week – is also evident in an increase in promotional activity this year.
In the case of halal meat products, the number of deals has almost doubled, according to BrandView.com data, from 16 offered across the big four supermarkets during Ramadan last year to 30 in 2014.
This has been accompanied by a drop in average saving from 34.3% to 22.7%, and a shift away from straight money-off deals in favour of two-for offers.
Comparing the price of meat over the four weeks of Ramadan with the four weeks before, the average volume (per kg) price of products has fallen by 3.1%.
Across frozen halal meat, average prices fell 5.3% to £5.75/kg, with offers on lines such as burgers and kebabs. Much of the activity was on frozen chicken fillets, with offers starting the week before Ramadan and pushing average prices down 12.1% to £5.93/kg compared with the previous four weeks.
The price of chilled halal chicken fillets, meanwhile, remained static month on month at £6.76/kg. This was roughly in line with the overall chilled halal meat offer at the big four, where volume prices fell fractionally.
But even without a drop in price in chilled, the price of many halal poultry lines was cheaper than the non-halal version.
The average price of halal whole chicken has been £2.87/kg compared with £3.03 for a standard non-halal bird at the big four. Halal drumsticks were also cheaper, at £3.14 versus £3.77 for non-halal, as were chicken legs, at £3.15 versus £3.50.
Halal lamb, however, has been more expensive than the non-halal meat despite an average month-on-month drop of 7.5% in the per-kilo retail price. Halal minced lamb was an average of £8.67/kg during Ramadan compared with £8.14 for the non-halal meat.
Big savings could be had during Ramadan on halal lamb burgers – down 17.7% on the previous four weeks to £5.81 – but they were still fractionally more expensive than the average non-halal lamb burger, at £5.79 a kilo.
Ramadan, which lasts for around 30 days, involves Muslims ingesting no food or any liquid during daylight hours, but after dusk and prayers have concluded, they are given to eating more elaborate meals than normal, including a large hot meal shortly before dawn.