What the consumer is saying about the meat category is not something you want to hear, director of global business at Bord Bia Noreen Lanigan told the recent Meat Business Women event.

Financial pressures are leading to less beef being bought and more meat-free options being taken into consideration by consumers.

“Bord Bia, since September 2019, conducted a European meat shopper insights tracker in seven countries around Europe.

“The most recent data in this study is from quarter two, with the backdrop of rising inflation across Europe that’s expected to reach double digits in quarter three and quarter four,” she said.

While we are not yet in a recession, Lanigan said that shoppers are seeking to take control of their spending by changing channels, shopping more in discounters and doing more meal planning.

“Our insights show us that shoppers are considering fewer proteins as they look to stick to their meal plans pre-shopping,” she said.

In Ireland, the UK, Germany and Italy, consideration for beef has declined. However, while the universe of beef buyers has declined, the purchase incidence within it has remained stable, she explained.

“The key challenge currently is getting beef or any other protein on to the shopping list and to encourage it as a habitual purchase,” she said.