Magazine: It is the taste of ham that matters, not its size

By: Szalai László Date: 2022. 03. 11. 06:37

It is high season for ham before Easter, but this time of the year is only one stronger period in a diverse category that realises a good sales performance throughout the year. In 2021 ham sales surpassed the 2020 level by more than 2 percent.

Szabó Péter, Bonafarm

Péter Szabó
brand manager

Péter Szabó, Bonafarm Zrt.’s brand manager told our magazine that the engine of growth is cooked hams: volume sales of these augmented by 3 percent and value sales jumped more than 5 percent. Shoppers like poultry products more and more, but these still only represent less than one third of the market. They are considered to be healthier and are cheaper too. Discounters are strengthening their positions in seasonal ham sales.

Shoppers are buying smaller, but higher quality ham!

Najdenova Anna, Kométa

Anna Najdenova
commercial director

We learned from Anna Najdenova, KOMETA 99 Zrt.’s commercial director that sales of small and medium-sized products continue improving; at the same time family-sized hams are appearing on the shelves of grocery stores.


Szakács Hedvig-Zimbo

Hedvig Szakács
managing director
Zimbo Perbál

Another trend is that demand is shifting towards higher quality hams. Hedvig Szakács, ZIMBO Perbál Kft.’s managing director told our magazine: shoppers are now willing to pay more for better quality ham or products with a certificate of origin, e.g. Italian prosciutto, Spanish serrano. She added that packaging material and logistics costs are rising, so the company had to increase prices at the end of the year.


Szappanos Péter - Pápai Hús

Péter Szappanos
managing director
Pápai Hús

Péter Szappanos, Pápai Hús Kft.’s managing director talked to Trade magazin about the big challenges 2022 will bring for market players (rising production costs and supply issues), and revealed that after the boom in pre-packaged hams sales in the spring of 2020, hams sold from the deli counter are performing well again.

Pozsgai Tamás, Bogádhús

Tamás Pozsgai
commercial director

Tamás Pozsgai, Bogád-Hús Kft.’s commercial director said that higher packaging material costs influenced the prices of their products too. Feedback from their retailer partners is that shoppers want smaller, pre-packaged products. Almost every ham they sell is available in this format too.

Keeping up with the trends in both product innovation and marketing

Péter Szabó, Bonafarm Zrt.’s brand manager underlined that they are investing lots of energy in satisfying the latest dietary needs of consumers with new innovations. This is why in early 2021 the company rolled out HERZ Bársonysonka, a new product made of Hungarian turkey thigh meat, characterised by high meat and low fat content, and made without flavour enhancers. The company’s HERZ Smoked-cooked chicken breast ham contains 97 percent meat. In order to keep up with the latest trends in marketing too, Bonafarm Zrt.’s intensified its activities in the digital space last year.

As for company’s Easter hams, it is a priority to ensure that no product shortage occurs in this peak period. In the Easter period of 2022 shoppers who like classic flavours and don’t make compromises in ham quality will find Pick Szeged Zrt.’s salt cured and beechwood smoked PICK Békebeli hams on store shelves (tied pork shoulder, pork loin, pork thin flank). For those who prefer smoked-cooked meats, the company offers PICK thin flank ham and PICK tied pork shoulder.

PT-Sonkából az íz a lényeg, nem a méret

It is still the small-middle pre-packed packages of ham products that are on the rise


Anna Najdenova opines that good planning and preparation, together with a strong sales and marketing team, can help to prevent unexpected hardships and lead to success. This is exactly what KOMETA is doing and the reason why they were able to sell more products last year. KOMETA’s top quality Prágai hams and premium Kemencés hams – these can only be found in the company’s product portfolio – are selling well throughout the year, but the demand for them goes even higher in the Easter period. In 2021 they revamped their website and launched the KOMETA Club loyalty programme, which has its own microsite.

ZIMBO Perbál Kft. only sells high quality hams and has adapted to the changing consumption habits by putting small-sized premium hams on the market, besides their usual family-sized products – informed Hedvig Szakács. Least Easter ZIMBO Perbál’s large-sized Brandenburg and Schwarzwalder hams were very popular, and the 350g versions of these also sold well. In 2021 the company launched premium Abraham sliced hams in 93-percent recyclable packaging. This year will bring the launch of organic Abrahan hams in sliced and diced, normal and light versions.

PT-Sonkából az íz a lényeg, nem a méret

Pork hams account for over two-thirds of the market, whereby the demand for poultry products has also been obviously increasing

They focus on quality

Last Easter the best-selling Pápai Hús hams were Prágai, Eszterházy and Kőrishegyi. If the whole year is considered, Extra ham came up with the top performance. The Excelsior ham range is made using the traditional method and is highly popular – especially smoked tied shoulder, smoked loin and equilibrium chopped Kőrishegyi ham in 200g size. Péter Szappanos said: their Easter hams will have 6-10 percent higher prices in 2022, but the company still expects volume sales growth in the high quality ham segment.

Despite the pandemic situation Bogád-Hús Kft. managed to realise excellent sales last Easter. Tamás Pozsgai reckons that this was possible because they had started negotiations about expected volumes and product selection in time, so they could supply partners with great accuracy and in a timely manner. Their most popular product in the Easter period is Bogádi Szívsonka – this smoked ham is aged on hardwood sawdust and contains no bone. Two new Bogádi Szívsonka products have been launched: a 200g sliced version and a 500g variant for gastronomy partners. //

Related news