Get more banger for your buck

New research from Which? has revealed that in some cases supermarket own brand sausages may give you more meat for your money.

Sausages, alongside bacon, are the most popular meat products with three quarters (74%) of UK adults buying them. We compared Richmond thick sausages to Sainsbury’s Basics pork sausages, and found that it would be better to buy the Basics range. Both packs surprisingly contained the same meat content (42%) but Richmond sausages cost three times as much at £2.40 per pack, compared to the Basics sausages costing 80p. However, by paying 59p more than the cost of Richmond’s sausages, Sainsbury’s premium range pork sausages offered twice as much meat (97% at £2.99).

We also found, within supermarket ranges, cheaper products might not always be the better value when looking at the amount of meat for your money. For example, Asda Butchers Selection British Pork Sausages only costs 23p more per kg than Asda Pork sausages (£5.66 per kg compared to £5.43 per kg) but contains much more meat (72% compared to 56% respectively).

Similarly when we looked at burgers, we found Birds Eye Original beef burgers cost a pricey £8.30 per kg yet only contained 77% meat, compared to Tesco’s quarter pound beef burgers which contained 90% beef and were better value for money at £6.12 per kg.

Any product with meat in has to adhere to strict food labelling guidelines. A pork sausage must contain a minimum of 42% of pork meat to be labelled as such but for a product to be simply called a sausage, it only needs to contain 32% pork, 26% chicken or 30% beef or lamb.

We’ve found that eight in 10 people (79%) check the ingredients and meat content on labelling but the governments of England, Wales and Northern Ireland are proposing to weaken the current guidelines and decriminalise food labelling violations. We want mislabelling to remain a criminal offence, even more so after the horsemeat scandal, so those responsible for misleading consumers can be held to account.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“Branded goods don’t always provide the best value for money, as we’ve found shoppers can get more banger for their buck by choosing supermarket own-brand sausages.

“It’s important that people know what they’re getting so they can make an informed choice. In the wake of the horsemeat scandal, we want the Government to think again over their plans to decriminalise food labelling offences to help restore trust in the food industry.”


Notes to editors:

1.    To compare the value of each pack we worked out the cost of 1kg of meat based only on the percentage of meat each product contained.

2.    We surveyed 2,002 UK adults online between 9 and 13 May about their views on meat products.

3.    We surveyed 2,062 UK adults online between 22 and 24 February and asked how their shopping habits had changed following the horsemeat scandal.

4. A breakdown of the sausages we looked at and the meat content they contained can be found in a table here.

5. A breakdown of the beef burgers we looked at and the meat content they contained can be found in a table here.

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