UK shoppers spent an extra £13 million on red meat for special Valentine’s Day meals this year, according to AHDB.
A report from the farm levy body reveals food and drink sales received a £24.3m boost for the romantic celebration in February – its biggest Valentine’s Day, in terms of value, in five years.
“This increased spend is attributed to average price increases and fewer promotions on red meat, but was to the detriment of volumes, which were down 1.1% on the year,” said AHDB.
Sales of beef steaks were up 5.7% in comparison to Valentine’s Day 2019 and an extra 126 tonnes of steaks were sold, with fillet and sirloin cuts enjoying the biggest sales boosts.
Meanwhile, sales of premium sausages helped drive an £8.3m boost in sales of pig meat, while sales of marinades were up £1m in value and 16% in volume.
The dairy sector also enjoyed a boost and sales of cheese were up 5.2% by volume and up 4.2% by value in the two-week period to Valentine’s 2020, compared to last year’s celebration.
Sales of fresh chilled deserts were down 1% to £34m, though sales of fresh cream were up 4.3%.
The potato sector also enjoyed 3% and 4% growth in fresh and chilled ready-made products respectively. However, price drops in both categories were required to drive sales.
AHDB said: “Chilled potato sales have been struggling in recent months. However, price decreases did encourage consumers and there were strong increases in volume sales over Valentine’s Day.”
Looking ahead to the next Valentine’s celebration in 2021, AHDB said February 14 will fall on a Sunday, offering more opportunities for the food and drink sector.
The levy body said: “Advertising around breakfast in bed could do well, as well as the traditional dine-in options.
“This could be especially lucrative for traditional breakfast ingredients, such as sausages, bacon, yoghurts and butter.”