According to the survey, carried out for Bord Bia by TNS, in the 52-week period to the end of May Irish consumers bought only 18% of their meat from butchers, compared to 72% from supermarket chains and 6% from c-stores. In the previous year the butchers’ share had been just over 20%, with the supermarkets at 69%.
But the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland strongly disputed the survey. Chief executive Pat Brady said they suggested butchers did business worth only €158m in the period reviewed, which he claimed gave each shop an average weekly turnover of just €2,500.
“This could not be correct”, he said. He estimated “the real figure” for butchers’ shops at €530m, and said the Irish Food Safety Authority supported this.
Bord Bia is standing by the findings. It said the figures were based on an independent survey of 1,500 consumers.