Coronation Weekend: UK shoppers tipped to spend big on meat and dairy

By Teodora Lyubomirova

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Cheddar cheese Cheese Dairy Milk Cream Butter

British shoppers are expected to stock up on meat and dairy staples as the nation prepares to celebrate the crowning of King Charles III this weekend (May 6, 2023).

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) expects a 'surge' in sales of red meat and dairy as street parties and BBQs are being organized up and down the UK to mark the special occasion.

According to the AHDB, dairy and meat purchases also rose during last year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. For example, an additional 724,000L of fresh cream and 228,000kg of cheese were purchased to mark the event, which celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years of service. This was a 33% and a 28% increase in cream and cheese purchases respectively compared to an average week in 2022.

There was also an uptick in meat purchases, with sausage rolls up 30% in volume followed by a 28% rise in pork pie purchases and a 9% increase in sausages sold.

Quiche is the official coronation dish. Image: Getty/Diana Miller

Seasonal celebrations, such as Christmas, Halloween and Easter, are important for the retail and foodservice sectors as there are uplift in sales and new product launches during these periods. According to AHDB research, in the UK, sales increase around 22% at Christmas, 7% at Easter and 4% at Halloween.

But shoppers generally ‘love an excuse for a party’ and even ad-hoc events, such as the coronation or the Jubilee celebrations, lead to a boost in food sales.

Meanwhile, King Charles III’s celebratory dish of choice – Coronation Quiche – packs plenty of dairy ingredients, with butter, milk, double cream and cheddar cheese all on the recipe list. 

A potential surge in dairy purchases would be welcome by dairy producers, particularly since consumers have been trading down in dairy due to the cost of living crisis. According to an AHDB and YouGov survey from November 2022. price increases have led consumers to opt for cheaper versions of dairy products, with 57% of shoppers surveyed saying that price has become more important for them when choosing a dairy product.

According to Kantar’s retail price tracker, dairy prices in Britain have continued to inch upwards in March, while branded milk (including milk alternatives), butter and yogurt volumes declined more significantly compared to private-label products. In cheese, while overall volumes experienced only a marginal decline, branded cheddar was also down -14.4% compared to a growth of 5.3% in sales of private label cheddar.

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