Beef & Lamb Market Outlook - Summer 2023

According to AHDB consumers are spending less on groceries and eating out which has had an impact on red meat sales and consumption. Expense has become the main factor affecting meat purchasing with health and the environment now taking a back seat.

Close up outdoor beef cattle cropped - ForFarmers UK

Changes to consumer behaviour include movement to cheaper proteins with some switching from beef and lamb to pork or chicken.

In its Agri-Market Outlook for 2023 AHDB predicts that beef consumption will fall by 2%.

Cheaper cuts will be in highest demand sales of burgers may help offset some of the decline in sales. Overall however beef volumes via retail are predicted to fall during 2023. Cheaper eating out options will be more popular, which will also boost burger sales, particularly in the summer months, it says. Even though it anticipates beef having the strongest recovery of the red meats it does not expect eating out to return to 2019 levels.

Meanwhile, lamb volumes via retail are also predicted to decline during 2023 although less so around peak demand occasions such as Eid and Easter. AHDB expects out-of-home consumption to see the weakest recovery and that – as for beef – eating out will still not return to 2019 levels. However takeaways and deliveries will continue at the current pre-pandemic levels.

AHDB says that encouraging consumers to make dishes that are considered ‘value for money’ will benefit cheaper cuts. A focus on use of leftovers and reducing waste is also considered important.

As consumers are more likely to enjoy ‘treat’ or special occasion meals at home more expensive cuts could benefit from promotion of quality dinein recipes or ‘fake aways’ it says.

AHDB also suggests that the industry addresses health concerns by communicating the nutritional benefits of eating beef and lamb. Promoting the high welfare and environmental attributes of their production is also important.

It also suggests more promotion of easy recipes, encouraging batch cooking and to improve the shopper’s experience of the meat aisle.

Advice for feeding hill lambs 1

AHDB’s Trade Predictions:

  • Beef imports are expected to fall by 2% in 2023 due to a decrease in consumption by a similar amount. Exports could increase by 3% reflecting the domestic market balance.
  • For lamb, imports are forecast to decrease by around 5%, driven by weaker domestic demand. Exports are expected to grow in line with the projected domestic market balance, potentially by over 15%.
Promoting british beef and lamb graphic

For more information

For more market insights visit the AHDB website