Coles and Woolies chop butchers’ share

meat shopping supermarketButchers have suffered their steepest fall in customers in a decade as Coles and Woolworths gobble up a bigger share of Australia’s $13 billion fresh meat market.

The supermarket giants have taken their share of the market past 50 per cent for the first time, according to research firm Roy Morgan.

Traditional butchers and markets now hold only 24 per cent of the market, compared with 32 per cent 10 years ago.

Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine says the domination of Coles and Woolworths – driven by fierce price competition – has come at the butchers’ expense.

“In the last 12 months, fresh meat market share for butchers and markets dropped three per cent points,” Mr Levine said.

“This is steepest drop of any time period in the last decade.”

He said Coles and Woolworths have enjoyed stronger growth in the meat market than German discount chain Aldi.

However, Aldi has also taken share away from butchers and the threat of other foreign entrants – including European chains Kaufland or Lidl – does not bode well for butchers.

“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,” Mr Levine said.

The research involved a survey of 50,000 people, including 12,000 grocery shoppers.

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