There will be Easter and there will be ham too

By: Szalai László Date: 2021. 03. 11. 10:31

Production continued

Mostisch Martina-Hússzövetség

Martina Mostisch
secretary general
Hungarian Mean Industry

The swine flu and COVID-19 had a big effect on the meat industry last year: the price of live pig dropped considerably, which put pig farmers in a difficult situation, while pig meat processing companies ended up in a more favourable position. Martina Mostisch, secretary general of the Hungarian Meat Industry Federation told our magazine that the pandemic started a buying craze in March, which was followed by a 20-percent sales drop that the sector only managed to improve to a minus 10 percent performance by the end of the year.

The pandemic didn’t disturb the production process, as producers must comply with strict hygiene rules at all times. However, the closing of borders and production interruptions in Western Europe caused problems in the spice, shrink wrap and plastic bag supply. – informed Ms Mostisch. She revealed that consumers are cautious in their consumption at the moment, so the federation calculates with last year’s level or a bit below that in sales.

A period of changes

Szántó Zoltán - Pick Szeged

Zoltán Szántó
senior product manager
Pick Szeged

Zoltán Szántó, Pick Szeged Zrt.’s senior product manager presented market research data to us, which indicates a price increase for last year. Cooked ham sales grew by 0.6 percent in volume and jumped 11.7 percent in value. In the raw ham category sales increased by 16.2 percent, but volume sales decreased by 0.8 percent.



Szappanos Péter - Pápai Hús

Péter Szappanos
managing director
Pápai Hús

Pápai Hús Kft.’s managing director Péter Szappanos is of the opinion that COVID-19 and transforming consumer habits are still shaping consumption trends. This will have an impact on both product structure and prices in the near future.


János Ruck
kereskedelmi igazgató

János Ruck, commercial director of Gallicoop reported to us that market demand is going in two directions in the turkey product segment: 1. conscious buying that strengthens the positions of healthier premium products; 2. increased demand for large-sized, relatively cheap products in discount supermarkets, because people eat at home more often.

New and old favourites

Pick Szeged Zrt. launched several new products in the cooked ham category last year. The first quarter of 2020 brought the debut of 95- and 97-percent meat HERZ XXL 150g sliced hams. Last autumn HERZ Delko paprika-coated sliced turkey breast in 100g size followed. This year the company put 100g sliced HERZ Bársonysonka on the market in natural and paprika variants. In the Easter season PICK Békebeli hams – made using the traditional method: salt curing and beech wood smoking – are waiting for those consumers who don’t make compromises in quality. PICK Békebeli smoked products don’t contain flavour enhancers or artificial colours, and they are soy-, gluten- and lactose-free. Easter hams appear on store shelves from February.

Pápai Hús is getting ready for the Easter period with its usual flagship products. They don’t only concentrate on sales from the deli counter, but also on the pre-packaged ham segment: smaller-size vacuum-packed or protective atmosphere packaged hams are waiting for consumers in shops. In line with the latest trends, the company is expanding its vegan product selection.

Certified origin, extra meat content

Németh Zsolt-Húsüzem

Zsolt Németh 
commercial director

Húsüzem Kft. manufactures private label products for retailers, but they also make premium quality AHIDA poultry and pork ham products and cold cuts. Commercial director Zsolt Németh told our magazine that the company’s stable volume sales are the result of an innovative business strategy. Besides developing new products, the firm has taken a step in the direction of 0.5kg, 1kg and sliced products too.

Húsüzem Kft.’s flagship products are those which have an 80-percent or even bigger meat content. There are two secrets behind the company’s success: the poultry meat they use in production comes exclusively from sources of certified origin, and their workers have a decade of experience in what they do. Húsüzem Kft.’s production plant manufactures in compliance with IFS standards.

Traditional flavours with the health trend in mind

Domestic sales by Gallicoop increased in the last 12 months and the company’s Easter products will be available in the stores of basically every retail chain. In 2020 Gallicoop’s Easter period success products were cooked-smoked tied ham and turkey upper thigh. Their plans include making products with as high meat content as possible, and they also sense the consumer demand for healthy and reliable convenience products. With its Easter products Gallicoop targets those consumers who like to enjoy traditional ham flavours, but think about their health too. //

Discounters becoming more and more important in ham sales

GfK-Growth from Knowledge

Bakonyi-Kovács Kriszta - GfK

Krisztina Bakonyi-Kovács
senior product consultant
GfK Consumer Panel

Last year 91 percent of households bought some kind of cooked, smoked, roasted or dried ham minimum once. The average household purchased the category 12.4 times, spending HUF 1,015 per buying occasion in 2020 – 4 percent more than in 2019. However, back in 2019 the average family took home 6.1kg of ham, but in 2020 this volume dropped to 5.2kg. We had to pay 22 percent more for one kilogram of ham: HUF 2,401.

No less than 40 percent of ham sales is realised in the Easter period. Because of the lockdown, in this period the average household only bought 2.5kg in 2020 instead of the 2.9kg in 2019. Discount supermarkets played a more significant role in ham sales last year than before. Households took home 21 percent of their ham from here – in 2019 this proportion was less than 15 percent (in volume). //

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