Chris Evans

17th December 2020


Who makes the most profit from your Christmas dinner?

It is getting awfully close to that most important meal of the entire year, Christmas dinner. The toil of pre-big day planning, the hours of peeling, the complex timings and the seemingly endless preparation are almost upon us.

While you are gearing up to welcome your nearest and dearest for your own yuletide gluttony, market analysts Plimsoll have deconstructed the traditional Christmas dinner to assess the markets behind the meal. Which parts of this special meal are most financially stable and profitable, and which markets are struggling to keep up?

Here are the markets behind the classic festive feast:


Where would Christmas dinner be without the turkey? While increasingly threatened by changing tastes and alternatives, the traditional turkey remains the staple of the holiday table. Throughout the year, turkey is pitched as a healthy alternative to other meats and a key staple of a large frozen range (courtesy of Bernard Matthews). However, December is undoubtedly the period of the year that makes or breaks the market. Here are the trends in the UK market:

Average Growth:                            4.2%

Average Profit:                                6.8%

Average Value increase:               -4.2%

Fresh produce

Sprouts, various roasted root vegetables and a mountain of mash. A traditional dinner plate on December 25th needs a hefty helping of vegetable-based carbs. The industry is less reliant on the festive season for sales, and growth is much more difficult despite the recent rise in plant-based diets. Traditionally a low growth, high margin market, here are the trends in the UK market:

Average Growth:                            1.3%

Average Profit:                                5.6%

Average Value increase:               0.4%

Pork & bacon

Pigs in blankets - nothing says Christmas dinner excess more than those little chipolatas wrapped in smoky bacon. Traditionally a narrow margin market, the UK industry is starting to recover from the damage of the swine fever pandemic. Growth and profits are improving in the market and here are the latest trends:

Average Growth:                            0.5%

Average Profit:                                1.6%

Average Value increase:               0.8%

Sauces, condiments & seasoning

From cranberry sauce to mustard, gravy to pepper, a good celebration feast needs a range sauces and condiments to smother it in. The UK market has seen both profit margins and sales growth come under pressure in the most recent trading period. Could Christmas 2020 provide a welcome boost to get the industry back to growth? Here are the latest trends in the UK market: 

Average Growth:                            2.4%

Average Profit:                                3.3%

Average Value increase:               3.1%


Flour features across your dinner plate. From the base of your gravy to those wonderfully fluffy Yorkshire puddings, flour forms a staple part of the Christmas dinner. Anyone that went into a supermarket throughout the summer of 2020 will know this has been a bumper year for the industry with shelves stripped bare of stock as we all baked our way through the lockdown. Here are the latest trends in the UK market:

Average Growth:                            9.3%

Average Profit:                                8.4%

Average Value increase:               3.9%

Vegetarian and vegan foods

It wouldn’t reflect the holidays in 2020 if we didn’t respect the changing nature of what people eat. Over 6 million adults in the UK are non-meat eaters, so the growth in alternative products has been massive over the past decade. Profits, however, are on the slide as the market matures and competition heats up. Here are the latest trends in the UK market:

Average Growth:                            11.1%

Average Profit:                                3.3%

Average Value increase:               6.3%

Everyone has their own nuances and variations on what constitutes a traditional Christmas dinner in 2020. Whatever extras you put on your plate this holiday season, or whatever your choice of ingredients, Plimsoll can show you how that market is performing, which protagonists are getting it right, and who is falling behind.

For more information of the markets and companies that matter to you, visit