Butchers on Christmas demand as cost of living rises

MANY people have decided to “do Christmas and worry about it afterwards”, a butcher has said after a wave of late orders.

Food producers have faced soaring costs, with recent BBC research finding the price of Christmas dinner will be nearly 22 per cent more expensive than in 2021.

Jacob Watts, owner of Peter Treble butcher in Westbourne, said customers were ordering later but still celebrating.

“Everyone seems to be all of a sudden deciding they’re just going to do Christmas and worry about it afterwards,” he said.

“The numbers are coming back. They were very slow to start with but in the last two weeks they’ve picked up.”

He was on course to sell out of game after a rush of orders.

“We’ve only got so much room and our turkey supplier will be very happy with what I’m going to tell him,” he said.

He said he had not seen massive rises in costs.

“Turkeys have gone up a fraction on price because of the cost of heating and the war in Ukraine but apart from that, there’s not a massive increase,” he said.

But Paul Armstrong, of Armstrong Butchers in Winton, said he had noticed spending falling.

“It’s dropped off quite a bit people are struggling with their finances. We’re a little bit lower on orders this year,” he said.

“It’s a rough time. You’ve got people who want it no matter what, people who are just having that one special item and people that are struggling,” he added.

He also said this year’s bird flu outbreaks could hit the availability of turkeys.

“Free range turkeys are OK but the cheaper ones are all frozen now. They’ve had to kill them and put them down so there’s a shortage of geese and turkeys,” he said.

Research by Assosia for the BBC found a basic Christmas dinner for five people would cost £30.03 this year, compared with £24.67 last year, based on supermarket prices.

Bournemouth Echo | News