Roast beef challenging turkey’s Christmas crown

Roast beef looks set to continue last year’s challenge to turkey’s crown as the centrepiece of Christmas dinners around the country, experts have predicted.

The traditional turkey Christmas dinner has a new challenger in the form of the roast beef joint. (Pic: Getty Images)
The traditional turkey Christmas dinner has a new challenger in the form of the roast beef joint. (Pic: Getty Images)

Red meat joints began to challenge the traditional turkey during last year’s Covid pandemic rules, with fewer party guests at last year’s Christmas dinner seeing sales of beef roasting joints soaring by 18 per cent on 2019 levels as many households catered to their own personal taste.

Analysts at the AHDB believe that this year’s lingering trepidation of ‘bigger’ gatherings alongside the shortage of seasonal poultry workers could result in a similar picture at this year’s celebrations – with beef roasting joints once again featuring more prominently at the ‘main event’.

Following subdued seasonal celebrations last year due to Covid, AHDB insight analysts looked at what this year’s festivities could mean for red meat and dairy – and how Yuletide food was likely to be impacted by supply issues. The analysts predicted that specialty cheeses such as Wensleydale and brie would also be festive favourites this year as Christmas revellers chose to stay at home for the big meal rather than eating out.

And food retail sales in the fortnight before Christmas were expected to follow the usual pattern of rising by 22 per cent compared to an average two weeks of the year.

“Although last year was unprecedented because of Covid, some of the pandemic behaviours still remain. And with issues around seasonal workers and the supply chain, there are many factors that could impact this year’s Christmas dinner,” said AHDB senior retail insight manager Kim Malley.

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