Loved-up Brits helped boost beef and dairy sales by splurging on steak and cheese for Valentine’s Day this year, according to new figures.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said the meat and dairy sectors “felt the love in lockdown” with food and drink retail sales reaching record levels for Valentine’s Day this year – up £85 million on last year.
The levy body said sales of red meat, fish and poultry were up by an additional 16m kg compared to last year.
Data from consumer research body Kantar shows sales of fillet, ribeye and sirloin beef steaks were up 29%, 29% and 34% respectively in the two weeks to February 14, 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.
AHDB said the dairy sector also benefitted from the romantic holiday with sales of cheese up 23% – the equivalent of an additional 4.1m kg sold – while sales of chilled potatoes were up 42%.
“The pandemic and resulting national lockdown has led to a unique Valentine’s Day this year with couples who would normally eat out on February 14 forced to find new ways to be romantic,” said AHDB analyst Rachel Rose.
“The latest research shows that beef steaks, potatoes and dairy won the hearts of consumers this year, proving to be the perfect dish to serve up as a treat for loved ones at home.”
She said the data also showed a rise in takeaway sales in the week ending February 14 – up 112% in value compared to the same week in 2020.