Hmm, well, yes

Boost for butchers as supermarket deli counters get the chop

Clearly, for those who like deli counters then the closure of one set will increase traffic at another.

But given that the closures are being driven by falling demand not so much perhaps. Especially as the supermarkets are going to be the most efficient deli counters…..

31 thoughts on “Hmm, well, yes”

  1. The difference is that the local shops are happy chasing a smaller share of the market. If they are not competing with the supermarkets for those people who do want personal attention and fresh produce, all well and good. The other thing they can do is stock the niche items that the supermarkets cannot be arsed to stock.

    We certainly find that, unlike that from supermarkets, meat from the butchers is often fit for Jehovah. Basically, the local shops are chasing those for whom cost is often less important than quality.

  2. Odd this one. There was another bit of PR-as-journalism, a couple of days ago, trumpeting one of the other chains (Asda?) was doubling the size of its deli counters. So they must be looking at the market entirely differently

  3. I know Sainsbury’s is closing its deli counters, but this is more likely to be a reflection of the fact that it is a badly-run business than any change in customer behaviour. See also, Argos, and going all in on black history month.
    Waitrose deli looked fine last time I was in.

  4. I’ll treat supermarket meat offerings seriously when I see tripe and kidneys available in the meat aisle or the deli section.

  5. To echo some of what DocBud and BraveFart said, these aren’t particularly that “deli” now. We go to the butcher for cuts you can’t get in a supermarket, excellent pies and the best bacon. The generic butcher doing the same work as supermarkets disappeared years ago.

    I think as people are generally getting richer, there’s a growing market for specialist foods. Lots of people online doing smoked fish, meats, cheeses.

  6. The local Turkish supermarket has an excellent meat counter. The best chicken and lamb I have ever seen in any British shop and the guy with the big knives is happy to trim and fillet the meat just as you want it. Try getting an average supermarket butcher to carve a chicken breast into fillets in the way any Spanish butcher is happy to do

  7. @JuliaM

    I used to work in Leytonstone. The large Tesco nearby had a deli meat counter that was Halal. Says much, I suppose, about the population of Leytonstone.

  8. I used to work in Leytonstone. The large Tesco nearby had a deli meat counter that was Halal. Says much, I suppose, about the population of Leytonstone.

    Probably speaks volumes about Tesco’s pandering to the invader community as well.

  9. Local supermarket (South London) used to offer both Halal meat and ‘regular’ meat. I was obviously unsustainable, doubling up on the same product, so they made everything Halal on the basis that if you had a problem it meant you were racist. Naturally no one complained.

  10. I’m back in the UK for a bit and finding a very good range of food shops. Where I’m staying there’s a several butchers and fishmongers plus a very good cheese shop and a decent Italian deli.

  11. Last time I was in the UK, the bacon in supermarkets was awful, virtually all the fat had been cut off. It is the fat that makes bacon bacon.

  12. “I’ll treat supermarket meat offerings seriously when I see tripe and kidneys available in the meat aisle or the deli section.”

    You won’t find them in the supermarket because hardy anyone buys them nowadays. They bin them at the butchery stage because it’s cheaper than sending them to the bin via the store. The why of that, I couldn’t tell you. Brits these days, don’t eat offal? They’re squeamish about meat being dead animal & the bits ‘n pieces of the innards reminds them? Wouldn’t have the same problem in France or here.
    Here they bin suet. They don’t know what to do with it.

  13. You can still get tripe on Barnsley Market.

    That’s the thing with butchers, if you want kidneys, they’ll sell them to you, especially if you develop a relationship with them, but they can’t sell pork kidneys with pork chops.

    During the beef on the bone ban, MrsBud went into the local butchers and said: “I don’t want to beat about the bush, I’m after something that you find at the end of a cow and it wags”. Butcher disappears in the back, comes back with a plastic bag, “Two quid please”.

    That weekend, beautiful oxtail potjie was had.

  14. ‘Last time I was in the UK, the bacon in supermarkets was awful, virtually all the fat had been cut off. It is the fat that makes bacon bacon.’

    More wisdom from DocBud!

  15. You won’t find them in the supermarket because hardy anyone buys them nowadays. They bin them at the butchery stage because it’s cheaper than sending them to the bin via the store. The why of that, I couldn’t tell you. Brits these days, don’t eat offal? They’re squeamish about meat being dead animal & the bits ‘n pieces of the innards reminds them? Wouldn’t have the same problem in France or here.

    M&S sell lambs liver. £1 will buy you sufficient to feed a family of 4. I’ve never understood why calves liver is >10x the price – it’s superior, but not IMHO that much superior, and is just as much a ‘surplus’ product of slaughtering.

    Here they bin suet. They don’t know what to do with it.

    This weeks ‘Bake Off’, which the missus watches 🙂 , tasked them with making a Sussex Pond Pudding. Every contestant failed dismally – most of them had never seen suet!

  16. Bloke in North Powys

    Here in mid Wales our local Tesco shut its meat/fish/deli counters a couple of years ago. Now we go to the adjoining Morrisons who still have all three. I can get lamb liver and kidneys plus pigs liver and kidneys. I think hearts too. I doubt tripe.

    I also cannot understand the price difference between calves and lambs offal. I normally use a local butcher rather than the supermarket and they tell me that the calves kidneys etc all get bought up to go to France. When in France if rognons de veaux are on the menu that is what I will have. Better than lamb’s but not that much better when buying just the basic ingredients.

  17. Bloke in North Dorset

    Chris in texas,

    There’s a carve out in the legislation to allow religious practices for slaughter with a concern that it’s not as quick and painless as regulated methods. There’s also a concern that it’s not properly regulated because that would be racist in the same way investigating claims of child rape would have been racist.

  18. Although our local butchers still make their own black puddings and faggots, offal remains an acquired taste these days. Was a fact of life as a kid. Mrs G. is a bit sniffy but remains happy to cook for me. Stuffed hearts (prunes) is a favourite, tripe in the Spanish style, kidneys on toast, liver of every sort (her liver soup is excellent), sweetbreads, tongue… I don’t see chitterlings that often and calves brains are only available as a frozen import, but everything’s there if you look for it.

  19. @Docbud

    Rumbleys; Thanks – Oh god, that’s really funny. I don’t remember having seen that sketch before. I’ve been rewatching NTNoN a bit over the last few weeks, having stumbled across a “story of” documentary or something last month.

  20. Bloke in North Dorset

    When I worked in HK my Chinese colleagues took great delight in taking us to restaurants for obscure meals, usually Saturday lunchtime because we worked a 5.5 day week.

    I wasn’t enamoured by chicken’s foot soup, not just because I don’t usually eat chicken, it was very vinegary and there was no meat so you spent most of the time pick small pieces of bone out of your mouth.

    The oddest one was a dish made from cows’ and pigs’ arteries. I felt like I was chewing flavourless elastic bands.

    There is still one dish that I had when we were on a trip in China and I was the only westerner so became guest of honour and had no choice but to eat it. It was some form of seafood but they would never tell me what and after a period just claimed they forgot what it was. I’m still alive so it can’t have been all bad.

  21. You won’t find them in the supermarket because hardy anyone buys them nowadays.

    Which is the chicken and which the egg?

  22. Bath Chaps can be very good. The market – the Bath one of course – used to sell them. Cooked like a ham, breaded on one side like a ham.

    Out here in Portugee the same black pigs that make jamon iberico – often raised here in the cork forests – provide the same cut that you can find sometimes. A local restaurant doesn’t cure them, cooks them on a skewer with peppers and onions. Very good.

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