Pilgrim’s UK, the country’s leading food and farming business and major supplier of British lamb, is expecting to boost production of its high-quality lamb products by over a third in the run up to Easter to keep up with a surge in consumer demand.

British spring lamb continues to be the go-to centrepiece for the dinner table at Easter, recognised for its high-quality and versatility. Full of flavour and melt-in-the-mouth British lamb is best-suited for roasting.

After a dip in lamb consumption last year – due to 70-year record high temperatures, which saw consumers turn towards outdoor barbecues – typical April UK weather is expected to return, and with it, the traditional roast.

Following significant switching from fish and beef[1], lamb continues to increase its share of the roasting occasion, with over 44% of volume share[2].

Holding the largest share of the lamb category all-year-round (32.1%)[3], demand for lamb joints is expected to rocket over Easter, typically accounting for more than two thirds (69.4%)[4] of spend on meat over the four-week period.

Pilgrim’s UK only produces high-quality British lamb, supporting 450 lamb farmers across the UK, with the majority of lamb coming from farmers in Wales. Increasing production will help to ensure that consumers can also choose to back British by selecting UK lamb over other alternatives.

Steaks and chops will also play a role, usually accounting for over 10% and 7% respectively[5] of fresh lamb purchased over the Easter period.

Kelly Eastwood, Insight Director at Pilgrim’s UK, said: “With colder weather returning for the Easter weekend this year, we know that consumers will be sitting down with family and friends for a warming roast, with lamb taking centre stage.

“So, it is important retailers have a range of sizes across leg and shoulder joints, and a spread of lamb cuts to provide shoppers with a breadth of choice and cater for different sizes of celebrations.

“We’re proud that 100% of our lamb products are from UK farmers, producing high-quality products and giving consumers the chance to support local farmers by buying British lamb this Easter.

“Our dedicated teams work all-year-round to meet spikes in demand around key occasions, this year we are producing over 140 tonnes of high-quality lamb products to ensure our retail customers are well stocked ahead of the long weekend.”

[1] Prepacked Fresh Primary Lamb | Joints | Total Market | 3 w/e 21stApril 2019 vs 3 w/e 1st April 2018

[2] *52wk Kantar usage data to 19th February 2023 – Lamb occasions share of prep time 51 minutes or more.

[3] Prepacked Fresh Primary Lamb | Total Market | 4 w/e 21stApril 2019 vs 52 w/e 21stApril 2019

[4] Prepacked Fresh Primary Lamb | Total Market | 4 w/e 21stApril 2019 vs 52 w/e 21stApril 2019

[5] Prepacked Fresh Primary Lamb | Total Market | 4 w/e 21stApril 2019 vs 52 w/e 21stApril 2019