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High prices impact UK retail sales of dairy - AHDB

04 July 2022

AHDB

Take-home grocery sales down 1.9% in last 12 weeks

The latest figures from Kantar show take-home grocery sales were down 1.9% in the last 12 weeks compared with 2021 as like-for-like grocery prices have risen by 8.3%. Sales during the week of the Platinum Jubilee (to 5 June) were £87m higher than on average in 2022, reported Grace Randall, retail insight manager at UK's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). 

Key headlines for the 52 weeks ending 12 June 2022:

Sales volumes of cheese declined by 5.7% year-on-year with Cheddar driving most of the decline. Cheddar accounted for 48% of volumes sold in this period. Despite average price rises of 2.7% year-on-year, spend on cheese declined by 3.1% due to the loss in volume. Cheese is currently the dairy product least impacted by increasing prices. Snack and lunchbox cheeses were the only category to see year-on-year growth through attracting new shoppers.

Spend on cow's milk declined by 0.6% while volumes declined by 6.6%, driven by declines in semi-skimmed milk sales volumes. Average prices increased by 6.4% to £0.64/litre. Specific low fat % milks continued to grow with volumes up 23%, as price decreases attracted new shoppers and existing shoppers bought more.

Yellow fats saw a volume decline of 9.5% following an increase in average prices of 7.9%. Growth in plant-based spreads was not enough to balance declines in block butter and spreads and margarine. The acceleration in plant-based spreads was driven by an increase in shoppers as more products come to the market.

Volume sales of yoghurt declined by 7.1% while value sales declined by 1.5% due to average price increases of 6%. Split pots saw the biggest drop in volumes, followed by fat free. Declines were primarily driven by shoppers buying less than last year. Active health yoghurts saw volume growth of 4.8%, showing shoppers aren't turning away from healthy yoghurts with growth coming from new shoppers.

Cream saw volumes decline by 8.6% with all cream categories seeing year-on-year declines. Single cream saw spend increases due to the increase in average price. For total cream, average prices have increased by 3.7% over the last year.

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