Shift of expenditure away from the basic carcase cuts towards processed offers Meat demand holding up Demand for meat in Great Britain, at least as reflected by retail shoppers' expenditure for in-home consumption, seems to be holding up much better than some recent media reports have suggested. Latest data from market researcher Taylor Nelson Sofres, based on responses from its sample of 15,000 domestic principal purchasers, indicate spending in the four weeks to October 14 was far stronger than 12 months earlier in most of the major sub-categories. As usual, though, the TNS numbers need cautious interpretation. Specifically, the increases of more than 17% in expenditure on bacon, nearly 12% on lamb and almost 6% on beef could be regarded as less impressive when set against sudden unexpected downturns during the corresponding period last year. Yet the market wobble in late September and early October 2000 had followed several months of sparkling sales revenue performances by beef, lamb and bacon, only pork turning in disappointing figures. Against this background, even discounting the flattering effect of the anomalous data for the four-week period leaves most of the market looking at worst unexciting. TNS figures for the year to date show beef purchases down 1.8% but spending up 1.2%. For lamb, purchases diminished by 4.7% but yielded 4% more cash. Pork, however, lost 6.5% volume while generating only 0.6% extra money. Perhaps the most notable feature of shoppers' behaviour has been a shift of expenditure away from the basic carcase cuts towards processed offers: bacon, sausages and sliced cooked meats have all attracted significantly bigger cash increases, regardless of changes in the quantities purchased. {{MEAT }}