The latest Kantar data for retail sales during the 12 weeks ending 18 April reveals continued strong demand from Irish consumers for beef and lamb.

The period includes an overlap of four weeks with the first lockdown in March 2020, and shows the spend on beef purchases 4.6% higher than for the same period last year.

Lamb sales were up 3.9% on value, though volume was down 1%.

Looking at just the last four weeks of the period, which are compared with the first four weeks of the lockdown last year, beef volumes were down 2.3%.

However, in that period in 2020, sales were a massive 15.2% higher than in 2019, so overall sales remain well ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Roast beef was clearly the choice for Easter, with spend on beef joints up 31.4% compared with the same four weeks in 2020.

The value of lamb sales in the latest four week period were up 4.7%, but volumes of sales were actually down 5.4%, reflecting the higher cost of lamb this spring.

The overall grocery market was 3.3% lower for the four weeks ending 18 April last year, which coincided with the panic buying at the start of lockdown.

SuperValu were the top retailer over the 12 weeks to 18 April, with a 22.5% share of the market, followed by Tesco on 21.7% and Dunnes on 21.1%. Discounters Lidl and Aldi have increased their market share to 12.6% and 12% respectively.