While the soaring temperature is causing havoc within other sectors, demand for meat is hotting up as Britain continues to sizzle.

Most retailers are reporting sales off the scale with several describing it as one of their best ever weeks for meat sales.

Somerfield has reported sales of ready-to-cook meats, including pre-prepared barbecue ranges, up 68% week-on-week, while Asda said the meat category as a whole was up 71% week-on-week and 141% year-on-year.

Sainsbury said its meat sales over the past week had broken all records. Marinaded meats were up 141% week-on-week and 200% year-on-year while its recently launched Jamie Oliver
21-day matured meat was up 20% week-on-week.

Both Asda and Sainsbury said sales of burgers and sausages were through the roof last week, with Asda selling five million sausages and a quarter of a million burgers and Sainsbury
selling 3.7 million sausages and 1.4 million burgers.

Emma Metcalfe King, Sainsbury’s meat buyer, said: “In terms of our summer eating range, last week was a record for us, we surpassed our highest week of sales last year by 44%. The Jamie Oliver range has also performed well which shows that people aren’t just buying the standard stuff, but they’re trading up as well.”

MLC category development manager Richard Cullen said: “Things that can be cooked quickly and easily, primarily on the barbecue, are flying off the shelves at the moment.”

However while the barbecues are being fired up, the more traditional meat products are not benefiting. Cullen said: “Roasting joint sales are down as you might expect when the weather is this hot.”

Both Sainsbury and Asda said sales on lines like mince, joint and stewing steaks had declined slightly. However, Cullen said the overall decline was only slight, around 4-5%.
Ed Bedington