With most markets globally impacted or severely disrupted by COVID-19, the Australian domestic market is no different, particularly the retail and foodservice sectors.
Scott Cameron is MLA’s National Customer Development Manager working across Australia’s domestic markets. Here he talks through the current trends and how MLA is supporting foodservice and retail through COVID-19.
What’s the latest on beef in the domestic market?
It’s a really positive story for beef. The last twelve weeks up to the 19th of April show that, excluding foodservice, domestic market growth has been over 20%. This has been driven by an increase in household penetration, with 130,000 new households purchasing beef over this period, and also spending more on their purchases.
The butchers’ channel has also grown by about 39%, which represents a huge increase on last year.
In terms of the product sales that are driving this growth, mince has been a big contributor as people stocked up in the initial response to COVID-19, but more recently we’ve also seen a spike in steak sales. This could be due to people enjoying the weather and using their barbeques a bit more.
And what’s the latest on lamb?
Lamb’s another good story as we’ve seen about a 12% growth on this time last year. There’s actually been less people buying into lamb, but the people that are buying are spending more and that’s been where we’ve seen the increase.
Similarly to beef, butcher channels are also growing at about twice the national average for lamb sales at around 23% and are seeing a big increase in average spending, which is another positive.
In terms of cuts, lamb legs and lamb cutlets are the key products driving these sales.
The foodservice sector has been facing a lot of challenges with the current situation. What’s MLA and your team doing to support this sector?
We’ve been really busy with a range of marketing activities. For example, last week, we filmed a video series called ‘Red Meat over Fire’ in the backyard of our corporate chef, Sam Burke.
We’re going to use this footage across our social media and digital channels as a learning tool for foodservices to produce these dishes when they go back to full-time service.
We also filmed each red meat dish in a meal kit format, as we’ve seen the foodservice industry pivot towards offering these to compliment their revenue. We’re hoping that they can utilise this media to inspire their own meal kit menus.