Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany Constitute Key Suppliers on the UK Bacon and Ham Market

Meat June 20, 2018
Blog Blog  /  Food Products  /  Meat
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

IndexBox has just published a new report "United Kingdom: Bacon, Ham And Other Pig Meat - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025". Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Bacon and Ham Market in the UK Contracted Both in Physical and Value Terms over the Last Year

In 2016, the United Kingdom’s bacon and ham market stood at €2.2B in wholesale prices, falling by 12% over the last year. In physical terms, market volume accounted for 566K tonnes, which was significantly lower than the maximum market volume achieved in 2010. According to IndexBox estimates, from 2007 to 2016, the market showed a mixed trend pattern. 

A significant growth from 2007 to 2010 was followed by a decline over the next three years; then it turned upward again from 2014-2015, but declined by 4% in 2016. The main reasons for reduced consumption of bacon and ham were both a competition with white meat, in particular with chicken meat, as well as changes in consumer preferences: the growth in the popularity of healthy eating and vegan/vegetarian diets, especially against the backdrop of the World Health Organization report on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of bacon and ham. 

UK Bacon and Ham Market Is Expected to Reach 592K Tonnes by 2025

Bacon and ham are some of the traditional products in British cuisine: convenience, readiness for consumption and high energy properties make bacon particularly popular as a breakfast food. Therefore, despite the above-described trends, a sharp decrease in consumption of  bacon and ham is not projected. 

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU significantly increases the degree of uncertainty in the future state of the market. Since the free trade agreement between the UK and the EU has not yet been reached, it is possible that trade will be conducted on the same basis as the trade with other WTO members, which could lead to a possible introduction of duties on the imports from both the UK and the EU. This can affect the volume of supply, retail prices, the volume of trade and, on the whole, significantly change a balance between production and consumption.

The forecasted bacon and ham consumption in the UK is based on the assumption that current trends will stay over the next few years and there will be no significant deterioration in the terms of trade. Therefore, it is assumed that the market will grow barely noticeably at a rate of + 0.5% in the period from 2017 to 2025 amid a small population growth, which will bring the market volume to 592K tonnes by 2025.

Bacon and Ham Output in the UK Contracted Slightly Against the Previous Year

The United Kingdom’s bacon and ham output amounted to 339K tonnes or €1.5B in 2016, fluctuating noticeably over the last few years. The production level of 2016 was by 18K tonnes (or 5%) less than the previous year and by 224K tonnes (or 40%) less than the highest point of output achieved in 2010.

Pig Meat Salted, in Brine, Dried or Smoked Was the Most Popular Category of Production

Pig meat salted, in brine, dried or smoked had for the highest share (75% in 2016) in total bacon and ham production. Output figures for that category fluctuated wildly: a sharp increase from 2007 to 2013 was followed by an abrupt drop over the next two years, finally it returned to its outset level by 2016. The most notable growth rates in UK bacon and ham manufacturing from 2008 to 2016 were attained by bellies and cuts thereof of swine, salted, in brine, dried or smoked (+3.4% per year), followed by hams, shoulders and cuts thereof with bone in, of swine, salted, in brine, dried or smoked (+1.8%). 

Bacon, Ham and Other Pig Meat Market in the UK Is Highly Dependent on Imports

The United Kingdom’s bacon and ham market remained dependent on shipments from foreign countries. Over the period under review, the share of imported products in consumption reduced slightly, making up 43% (-5 percentage points) in physical terms and 32% (-6 percentage points) in value terms in 2016. Despite of this reduction, the share of imports remained high, which means that imports should be regarded as a strong factor influencing market dynamics in the medium term.

Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany Constitute Key Suppliers of Bacon and Ham to the UK

In 2016, the UK imported 243K tonnes of bacon and ham; that figure remained relatively stable over the last four years. Previously, it declined sharply in 2011-2012, after a period of steady growth from 2007-2010. In value terms, it totalled €672M in 2016, displaying a slightly downward trend from 2007 to 2016 with somewhat noticeable fluctuations in 2008 and 2010; after 2011, the trend pattern became consistent through to 2016. 

Denmark (92K tonnes, or 38% of the total imports in 2016), the Netherlands (92K tonnes, or 38% of the total imports) and Germany (38K tonnes, or 16% of the total imports) constituted the main suppliers of bacon and ham into the UK. Germany emerged as the fastest growing supplier, with supplies increasing at an average annual rate of +1.9% per year from 2007-2016. Imports from Denmark reduced slightly over the last four years, thereby mirroring the outset figures; meanwhile, supplies from the Netherlands contracted at an average annual rate of -4.2%. Therefore, Denmark and Germany strengthened their position in terms of the UK’s bacon and ham imports by +6 percentage points and +4 percentage points, respectively, from 2007-2016. By contrast, the Netherlands saw its share reduced by -11 percentage points over the same period.

Ireland Remains a Key Market for Bacon and Ham Exports from the UK

In 2016, United Kingdom’s exports totalled 16K tonnes, which accounted for only 5% of United Kingdom bacon and ham output. Due to low trade intensity, exports should not be regarded as a strong factor influencing United Kingdom market dynamics in the medium term.

In 2016, Ireland was the main destination of bacon and ham exports from the UK, with a share of 73% of the total exports volume. Exports to Ireland increased by on average +4.6% per year from 2007-2016. Previously, Denmark and the Netherlands also constituted major export markets, but over the last four years, bacon and ham shipments to these countries practically ceased. Therefore, the share exported to Ireland increased (+40 percentage points from 2007), while the share exported to the Netherlands (-11 percentage points) and Denmark (-44 percentage points) demonstrated a negative trend. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analysed period.  

Do you want to know more about the UK bacon market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • bacon market share
  • bacon prices
  • bacon industry
  • bacon sales
  • bacon import
  • bacon export
  • bacon market forecast
  • bacon price forecast
  • key bacon producers

Source: United Kingdom: Bacon, Ham And Other Pig Meat - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025