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    Entrée Ham On Increase, Ham Steak Constant Year-Round

    With Easter just days away, it’s no wonder that the National Pork Board (NPB) has high hopes for ham sales this week. Indeed, entrée hams are the No. 1 traditional fare for Easter feasts, ranking second in dollar sales only to the Christmas holiday timeframe.

    With Easter just days away, it’s no wonder that the National Pork Board (NPB) has high hopes for ham sales this week. Indeed, entrée hams are the No. 1 traditional fare for Easter feasts, ranking second in dollar sales only to the Christmas holiday timeframe.

    In 2008, entrée hams lead the ham category, generating 82.2 percent of total ham sales. Entrée ham dollar sales consist of whole hams (15.6 percent), half (57.9 percent), portions (18.7 percent) and quarters (7.8 percent).

    “Half-hams are driving the increases we saw in ham in 2008,” notes Jarrod Sutton, NPB’s director of retail marketing. “There is a 7.1 percent increase in half-ham pounds sold over 2007.”

    Spiral cuts also showed continued growth, said Sutton, noting that “while non-spiral hams make up the largest share of entrée hams sold (64.4 percent), spiral-cut hams have shown greater gains, with a 9.2 percent growth in sales dollars over two years. Non-spiral hams have only grown 1.4 percent.”

    Bone-in hams represent the largest share of volume for 2008, and growth continues, added Sutton, citing a two-year trend that shows dollar sales up for bone-in hams by 5.4 percent.

    While entrée hams can almost sell themselves through the Easter holiday, Sutton reminds retailers that ham steaks “are a nice year-round ham option for consumers,” as evidenced by FreshLook Syndicated data that shows ham steaks are relatively unaffected by seasonality -- making them a great choice for consumers all year long.

    For more information, visit pork.org.

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