Ham could perform well again this year

By: Szalai László Date: 2024. 02. 27. 14:10

A rather big double-digit decline in volume sales of Easter ham was caused by dropping real incomes and a significant rise in prices: over 40% (mainly due to a sharp increase in the prices of raw materials and packaging). Customers have therefore opted for lower-priced or private label products.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2024/2-3

Péter Fejes, group brand manager of PICK at Bonafarm Zrt.:

Péter Fejes 
PICK group brand manager

“We don’t expect a further decline in 2024: as the economic situation and price levels stabilise, we calculate with a similar, slightly increasing demand for our premium products”.

Demand is shifting towards smaller products

Consumers buy Easter hams mainly in modern sales channels (hypermarkets, larger supermarkets and discount stores). The importance of discounters keeps growing, while hypermarkets are declining significantly.

“Demand has shifted towards smaller product sizes. Fortunately, sales of our higher quality products continue to increase year on year”, adds Zsuzsa Takácsné Rácz, sales director of Pápai Hús Kft. Kaiser Food is also cautiously optimistic about this year.

Benkő András-KaiserFood

András Benkő
sales and marketing director
Kaiser Food

“Moderate volume growth is likely in 2024, at the same price level as in 2023”, explains András Benkő, sales and marketing director at Kaiser Food.



Ham producers expect moderate volume growth this Easter season

More products to choose from at Easter

Last year PICK offered the usual selection of products at Easter: PICK Békebeli hams were the most popular, which are made with dry curing and traditional beech wood smoking.

In the 2024 season, the company’s priority is to strengthen its Easter offering, both in terms of meat cuts (thigh, shoulder, loin, etc.) and presentation, from sliced cured Bükkkerdei ham to Békebeli smoked thighs. In the period leading up to the festive season, shops will be stocking a large selection of Easter products, in a wide quality and price spectrum. This is why PICK helps shoppers to make a decision with messages based on real consumer insight and supported by rational arguments.

Volume sales growth in a shrinking market

Tibor Hollósy
purchasing director and deputy managing director

KOMETA manufactures premium quality ham products all year, and demand for these is so steady both domestically and abroad that last year the company achieved a 12% rise in volume sales, informs Tibor Hollósy, KOMETA’s purchasing director and deputy managing director. “In the ham category, we were able to increase volume sales by 5% in a shrinking market”, he adds.

Zsuzsa Takácsné Rácz
sales director
Pápai Hús

2024 is a special year for Pápai Hús, as the company turns 111.

To mark the anniversary, Pápai Hús is launching three new, high quality, exclusive and truly special 75g sliced hams, which are aged for 111 days and marketed under the Sonkarikum name. //







Brand building is a priority for major market players, even in difficult times


The thrilling smell of smoke has a stronger effect on our wallets

Processed smoked preparations account for one fifth of value sales in the processed meat category – if annual figures are considered.

Guest writer:
Krisztina Bodnár
business development
Consumer Panel Services

However, when looking at the March-April period, the value share of the smoked segment suddenly jumps to 32%. The share of sandwich hams was steady at around 10% in March-April; where sales surge at Easter is the more seasonal segment, which includes so-called “peasant hams” and tied hams – these products double sales in the Easter period.

For March-April 2023, due to the cost of living crisis, we can see a decline in penetration for the more expensive sub-segments: fewer households bought tied hams (-5 percentage points), and there was also a drop in the penetration of peasant hams and dried cured hams during Easter 2023. There is nothing surprising about the change in penetration if we also look at how prices developed: the average price of tied ham increased by 41% over Easter 2023 compared to Easter 2022, a major price hike compared to the 34% average price hike in the category. Among which types of households is ham penetration falling? In larger households, where more than 5 people live together. //

Related news