Latest Kantar data shows that UK consumers bought 7.8% less lamb in the year to 6 August 2023 compared with the previous year, though they spent 8.6% more while cutting back on the volume purchased.

The average retail price of lamb per kilo was £10.49 (€12.27), making it the most expensive retail meet offering. The next most expensive is beef, which retailed at an average of £8.67/kg (€10.14).

UK retail shoppers spent 12% more on beef purchases for the year ending 6 August, but again the volume was down, though at 2.9%, a less sharp decline than there was in lamb purchases.

The trend continued with pork purchases, where volumes in the year to 6 August were down 2.4% but the money spent by consumers increased by 11.9%, with the average retail price per kilo at £6.83 (€7.99).

There is more positive data for beef in the most recent sales period, the 12 weeks ending 6 August. The value of purchases was still 12% higher, but the volume of sales were down just 1.1%, compared with a 2.9% decline for the 52-week data.

Lamb retail sales volumes fell by 4.2% in this 12-week period. As the UK is the world’s third largest sheep meat exporter, almost exclusively to the EU, the loss of sales in the domestic market increases the competition for Irish exports in EU markets.