While many retailers have been struggling to keep pace with expectations, independent butchers were singled out as star performers in the latest report from the Office for National Statistics.
And Simon Badley, managing director of G.N Badley & Sons from Trench, Telford, believes it is because people want to support independent traders who buy from local suppliers at this time of year.
Mr Badley, whose father Keith founded the business in 1976, said: “The run-up to Christmas is one of the most important trading times of the year, and it’s been a really busy few weeks for us.
“For example, sales of rolled turkey crowns are up by 25%, we have also sold 10% more beef joints than the same time last year, and sales of pigs in blankets have run into the thousands.
“People are more aware than ever about the origins of the food they eat, and we’re proud to be once again supporting local suppliers, as well as stocking award-winning KellyBronze turkeys for the first time.”
Turkeys, chickens and geese at the G.N Badley & Sons store come from Shrewsbury, while beef and pork are sourced from various farms across Shropshire and Staffordshire. And all of the company’s sausage and bacon is made in-store.
Mr Badley said: “It’s been another bumper Christmas ordering period for us. Turkey may still be the most popular choice on the Christmas dinner table, but it’s clear that families will be offering a wider variety this year.
“Many people have been ordering a slightly smaller turkey than they would have done in the past, to blend it with a beef, pork, or lamb joint too.
“There has also been a shift towards ready-prepared meats like stuffed turkey crowns – we live in a culture these days where people expect things to be ready to cook or eat as soon as they come through the door.
“Then, of course, there are those families who are opting for a much less formal Christmas menu which doesn’t involve a sit-down three course feast.
“Butchers have to move with the times, and that’s why we also have a buffet and party meat range too from pork pies and sausage rolls to home-cooked meats, and quiches.
“We also recognise another shift in modern-day lifestyle which sees many people eating Christmas dinner alone. It’s important that they can still buy the same quality meats in single-sized portions.”