Bacon and sausage sales continue to fall following the WHO processed meat cancer scare, but the impact on sales is starting to ease, new data suggests.

The WHO’s decision to classify processed meat as a carcinogen has wiped £25m off the value of bacon and sausage sales since October, IRI estimates, but sales data from the major mults suggests the rate of decline is now starting to slow.

Pre-packed bacon sales are down 13% in the 14 weeks since the WHO published its report compared with the same period a year ago, while sausage sales are down 8.6% [IRI Retail Advantage 14 w/e 30 January 2016]. In contrast, bacon sales plummeted 17% and sausages 15.6% in the week immediately after the WHO announcement with £3m wiped off the category in the first two weeks alone.

“Sales of bacon and sausages continue to decline since the publication of the WHO report. However, the severity of the decline is not as sharp as it was,” said Martin Wood, IRI head of strategic insight for retail solutions and innovation.

An AHDB Pork spokesman said the pork category as a whole had faced a “tough year”, with falling prices and change in retail strategy from multi-buys to everyday low prices affecting value.

According to Kantar Worldpanel data, bacon and sausage sales have fallen 6% and 3% respectively over the past year [52 w/e 31 January 2016].

A poll this week by the World Cancer Research Fund found Brits more aware of the “cancer risks” of processed meats than before the WHO published its report.