Supermarket duopoly takes meat sales lead

Butchers' sales chopped as Coles, Woolies win 50.8pc of meat market


Agribusiness
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Less than a quarter of Australia's fresh meat sales are now through traditional butchers and meat market vendors.

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Big supermarket duo Coles and Woolworths captured more than half Australia’s $13 billion fresh meat market between them last year.

Market leader, Woolworths Group, had a 26.5pc share – up 1.1pc on 2016 – while Coles Group gained two percentage points to lift its share to 24.3pc, according to analysis of long-term market trends by the Roy Morgan consumer research group.

Their combined 50.8pc share was larger than the combined selling power of all other meat retail outlets including rival supermarket groups Aldi and IGA, independent butchers and other supermarket and specialty outlets.

It was also the first time the two supermarkets have accounted for more than half of Australia’s entire fresh red meat, pork and poultry retail sales.

Roy Morgan research noted the big local retailers also enjoyed stronger growth in the segment than arch rival, Aldi, which now has a 9.6pc share of the fresh meat market after gaining 0.9pc in 2017.

“Although, all three supermarkets have clearly taken substantial market share from traditional butchers,” said Roy Morgan chief executive officer, Michele Levine.

In the past year fresh meat market share for butchers fell three percentage points, the steepest drop in a decade.

Just under a quarter (24pc) of the fresh meat sales are now through butchers and meat market vendors.

In 2010 they represented about a third of Australia’s fresh meat market sales.

Ms Levine said Australia’s increasingly competitive fresh meat market was squeezing traditional butcher shop operators.

“Australia’s ‘big two’ supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles now capture over 60pc of Australia’s $100b-plus grocery market,” she said.

In recent years the big two had moved to consolidate their market shares in various fresh food markets including fruit and vegetables, meat, bread, delicatessen lines and fresh seafood.

“We’ve noted previously Australia’s supermarket duopoly has, however, been disrupted in recent years by the arrival of Aldi which has captured a significant market share across categories,” she said.

“Other foreign entrants are already on the lookout for supermarket locations including giant European supermarket chains, Kaufland and Lidl.

“The arrival of new cashed-up competitors keen to make a sizeable dent in Australia’s supermarket retailing landscape means the pressure on smaller specialist retailers including butchers and markets will only increase in coming years.”

However, other trends identified by Roy Morgan and deeper analysis of consumer preferences also showed those specialists who understood their customers were still well placed to capitalise on the “hidden value” at the discretionary end of their market.

The analysis came from the extensive Roy Morgan Supermarket and Fresh Food Currency Report which covered all food retailers, including products purchased and dollars spent.

The results were compiled from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of more than 50,000 people annually, including over 12,000 grocery buyers.​

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The story Supermarket duopoly takes meat sales lead first appeared on Farm Online.

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