Cost of living driving demand for cheaper bacon
Demand for cheaper bacon among Britons facing a cost of living squeeze has prompted Danish Crown to plan a new plant in northern England, Reuters reported, citing Europe’s biggest pork producer.
“Bacon is a basic commodity for most British consumers. This is simply something you need to have,” Danish Crown Chief Executive Jais Valeur told Reuters on Tuesday, adding that the company had not yet seen a big increase in overall demand.
“There will be a demand for more imported bacon in the future … We think consumers will be trading more on price and more on the discount,” he added.
The Danish firm is investing 100 million pounds ($119 million) in a new processing facility in Rochdale in the Greater Manchester area, which will use imported Danish pork.
This would make it possible to offer a lower price point than British producers, Valeur said adding that roughly 60% of bacon consumed in Britain is currently being imported.
“Generally farming is expensive in the UK and in order to survive and cover those costs, the British farmers have been looking for premium products like outdoor-bred pigs,” he said.
The plant, which will be powered by renewable energy, will be able to produce more than 900 tonnes of bacon and gammon a week and is due to start production in the second half of 2023.
Danish Crown’s British bet comes despite rocketing energy and pig feed prices, but Valeur said he had seen consumers turning to well-known and cheaper proteins such as bacon at the expense of others such as plant-based alternatives.
“What we see when things like this happen is that people come back to the well-known, the safe choices, the affordable choices,” he said.
The investment marks a comeback in Britain for Danish Crown, which sold its Tulip subsidiary in 2019.
($1 = 0.8441 pounds)