Sales of fresh asparagus at retail in Britain have dropped 14% year-on-year to nearly £76.5 million (≈€87m) while the volume plunged 18.7% to 8.4 million kg. Kantar data for the year to March 19, 2023, also shows fine asparagus has taken the worst hit from the UK’s cost of living crisis, with both the value and volume slashed by around half. In comparison, the overall spend on fresh vegetables in British supermarkets is up 1.5%, though the volume fell 5.6% over the same period. The market research firm says average prices of asparagus have risen by nearly 6%, triggering penetration to slide by nearly 10% in response.
A correlation between price inflation and shoppers exiting the category
“It’s clear there is a correlation between price inflation and shoppers exiting the category. A number of shoppers have swapped their asparagus purchases for more staple categories like potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and onions, while others have dropped asparagus from their overall vegetable repertoire. We know that shoppers have already been reducing the number of different fruit and veg types they buy and this has ramped up in recent months suggesting shoppers are becoming more minimalistic in a bid to save money,” a Kantar analyst told Asparagus World in late March. Britain’s produce shoppers in general have moved some of their spend over to frozen vegetables, most likely as a way to make some savings, with frozen vegetables perceived as offering better value for money, they also said.