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All news / Poultry consumption reaches five-year high in 2014

  • 28 Sep 2015, 11:15

UK poultry consumption reached a five-year high in 2014, revealing that the poultry hygiene concerns that surfaced in the second half of the year did not prevent strong sales. 

According to Key Note’s Poultry Market Update for 2015, value sales last year grew by 1.6%, reaching £5.23 billion. It estimated that the average Briton consumed 33.1kg of poultry over the course of the year, representing an increase of 0.9% and 3.1% from 2013 and 2010, respectively. Poultry expenditure accounted for 27.2% of total meat expenditure in 2014, which was 0.1 percentage point less than in 2013, but
0.5 percentage points more than in 2010.

Fresh whole chickens dominated volume sales in 2014, with 214,181 tonnes (t) sold. Fresh breasts and fresh legs were the second and third most heavily sold cuts with 2014 volumes of 122,173t and 75,411t, respectively. The only other variants to exceed 20,000t in 2014 were frozen breasts (43,334t) and sliced cooked chicken (22,248t). At the other end of the scale, just 2,846t of fresh chicken rolls and roasts were sold in 2014.

Table: The UK Poultry Market by Sector by Value at Current Prices (£m at rsp), 2010-2014

Looking ahead

Between 2015 and 2019, Key Note forecasts overall value growth of 8.5% for the poultry market in the UK. 

It believes that due to the “robust nature of the market — to the extent that it is ingrained in British diets and a variety of free-range, organic and/or ethically certified poultry products available on the market — means that the market is expected to exhibit further growth, albeit perhaps not on the same scale as recent years”.


The UK chicken sector was worth an estimated £4.29bn in 2014, representing value growth of 1.4% from the previous year and 20.2% from 2010. Following a value increase of 4.4% in 2011, the sector expanded by 6.3% and 6.7% in 2012 and 2013 respectively, before seeing more modest growth of 1.4% in 2014. Chicken sales in 2014 accounted for 82% of total market value, dominating over other forms of poultry, but this represented a decrease of 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points from 2013 and 2010, respectively.


This sector was worth approximately £574.2m in 2014, which was 1.5% more than in the previous year and 19.6% more than in 2010. Over the past five years, the fastest annual growth occurred in 2011 (10.2%) and the slowest in 2014 (1.5%). Consequently, although the sector’s share of the total market remained static at 11% between 2013 and 2014, it was still lower than in any of the previous three years.


The UK duck sector was worth £222m in 2014, representing a value increase of 2% from the previous year and 18.1% from 2010. Year-on-year growth has fluctuated between 1.7% (2012) and 8.3% (2011), reflecting the effects of an unstable economy on inflation and buyer behaviour. Overall, UK duck sales accounted for 4.2% of total market value in 2014, but although this was the same proportion as in the previous year it was 0.1 percentage points less than in 2010 and 2012, and 0.2 percentage points less than in 2011.


The goose sector in the UK was worth an estimated £43.6m in 2014, representing dramatic growth of 9.3% from the previous year and 198.6% from 2010. Of course, proportional growth in this context appears more dramatic owing to the relatively small value of the category, but goose sales have been improving in this timeframe, as reflected by increasing market share. In 2014, sales of this type accounted for 0.8% of the UK poultry market’s total annual value — an increase of 0.5 percentage points from 2010.

Other poultry

The other poultry sector was valued at £99.7m in 2014, which was 6.7% more than in the previous year and 13.7% more than in 2010. Year-on-year growth was exponential in this timeframe, rising from 0.3% in 2011 to 6.7% in 2014. Value growth in real terms has been less dramatic and, as such, sector share of the total market equalled 1.9% in 2014, which was an increase of 0.1 percentage points from the previous year, but an overall decrease of 0.1 percentage points from 2010.