The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the purchases of meat and fish in Great Britain during the lockdown period using time series constructed from a unique scanner panel dataset available since 2013 and which is based on information about 30 thousand households. The time series available for the analysis represent the purchases (expenditure and quantities) of all consumers and by income groups were used to compute price and quantity indices all the meats together and for each meat (i.e., beef, lamb, pork, poultry and other meats) and fish. The changes in expenditure were decomposed into changes in prices, quantities purchased and changes in quality purchased (trading up/down in quality) i.e., whether cheaper meat or fish were purchased. A further extension of the analysis was produced by considering the evolution of calories, saturated fats and sodium per purchased quantity for meat and fish during the period of study. The results indicate that although the shares of quantities remained relatively constant, the calories, saturated fats and sodium from the purchased quantities showed an increasing trend, indicating that most of the incomes groups were lowering the nutritional quality of their meat and fish purchases. This is clearly shown by the fact ‘other meats’ represents on average 39 per cent of the calories contributed by meat and fish, 49 per cent of the saturated fats and about 68 of the total sodium in meat and fish during the lockdown period. This result highlights the need to emphasize healthy messages related to the purchases of meat.


Copyright © 2021 Revoredo-Giha and Russo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Revoredo-Giha, C. & Russo, C. 2021, 'Purchases of meats and fish in Great Britain during the Covid-19 lockdown period', Frontiers in Nutrition, 8, article no: 648160. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.648160

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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