Meat prices make salmon a budget buy
Petrina Berry, Brisbane | AAP | May 2 2017
More Australian consumers are turning to chicken and even salmon as beef and lamb prices remain high, Woolworths boss Brad Banducci says.
Mr Banducci says red meat prices are likely to remain high over the next 12 months and as a result, shoppers are choosing to fill their baskets with chicken and salmon.
"We are seeing a movement in protein from red to white and pink meat - chicken and salmon - because they are more affordable," the supermarket chain chief executive said.
"More recently, the cost of lamb has gone up - it is now higher than beef prices," he said.
Mr Banducci said the outlook for red meat prices was "not good" with beef expected to remain high, while lamb could rise further over the next 12 months.
Export demand and restocking of properties after rains has kept beef prices high over the past two years and short supply has pushed lamb prices up in recent months, a recent National Australia Bank rural commodities report said.
Mr Banducci said Woolworths was also facing rising costs for some fruit and vegetables but he said it was difficult to pass on costs to shoppers because often they would not buy a dearer item.
However, he said there was an ongoing trend towards healthy eating.
"We see customers want to eat more healthy products and fruit and veg is a starting point for that," he said.
"We can see in the long term more customer demand for fruit and veg."
As people want more fresh food, shoppers tend to be shopping more frequently, particularly older couples, he said.