One of the biggest frustrations of the past week for many shoppers has been the lack of clarity from butchers.

Here, we take a look at why some shops have decided to remove the labels altogether from the front of the shops. In a time of crisis we want things to be clearly labelled.

Shoppers are having to ask what the price of the meat should be and others don’t find out until they get to the counter. This lack of transparency for the consumer has led to a great deal of confusion.

At the beginning of the week as shoppers headed to the shops there was concern that prices had risen at many butcher shops. Meat sellers have claimed that the prices of wholesale meat has gone up.

There is evidence of this in both the chicken and meat industry but this price rise has in some cases been replicated with a much larger percentage rise when it reaches the consumer.

Many butchers we have learned are receiving updated prices almost daily from suppliers.

There were reports of people being charged £10 per kg for chicken, £10 for one chicken or £19 for just one baby chicken. But without authentic receipts it is difficult to corroborate this.

Another video showed an irate shopper claiming he had been misled by buying £60 for ten kilos of chicken.  Which in turn looks like be a far lot less than others were being charged.

We called for readers to send us their receipts and images in the hope of clarifying some of the prices. The response has been phenomenal but please note we are only able to compare prices when genuine receipts and label pricing has been sent to us.

The aim is that shoppers can see for themselves pricing across the country and regionally to them.

Pricing and clear labelling

Here is the counter at Asia Continental in Blackburn. When visited by Asian Image, the meat counter does not display a single price. The chicken breast price when asked was £4.99 per kg (Friday March 20). We were sold slightly over 1kg so the price for that came in at £5.77.

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But the receipt is very unclear and we have no idea how much was paid for which particular product per kg.

A customer receipt showed the price of lamb at £10.99 on the same day (Friday March 20).

Compare this to the price being sold at the store on Monday (March 16). A reader sent this receipt. It is a confusing receipt as it does not state what the meat and poultry is. But the price is similar.

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Here at Pak Nottingham (below) a reader sent us this image where the chicken breast was coming in at £6.99 per kg.

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And here is the Park Bazaar in Bradford selling chicken breast for £6.99 per kg. Both are well above the £4.99 being offered elsewhere.

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The average price for chicken breast was coming in at £4.99 and a full chicken at £3.50 per chicken.

But we did receive countless reports of  a full chicken being sold at £5 at some stores. But without receipts again it difficult to corraborate this.

A reader in Dudley, West Midlands reported chicken breast was being charged at a whopping £7.99 per kg. 

Meat pricing

The price of lamb as we reported last week had risen on average by £2 per kg and here the confusion amongst customers was made worse by the lack of labelling.

A customer at Makkah Halal Meats when stopped by us said they had paid only £9 per kg (Thursday March 19), which we have learnt is a pretty good price and on par with what people were being charged earlier in the month. 

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A reader sent us this image (below) of prices that are listed at CC Continental in Leeds who were charging £15.99 per kg for lamb and £16.99 per kg for mince.

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In Slough Berkshire a customer told us that Lamb meat was being sold at £14/kg and mince meat at £13 per kg.

This can be compared to the KQF Food price here (below). The labelling is clear on their counter and when we asked for chicken breast, it was being sold for £4.99 per kg. Boneless lamb when asked was priced at £13.99 per kg.

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A KQF customer also sent us his reciept stating the price of two full lambs (this could well be a trade customer).  On the same recipet a full chicken is being sold at £2.99 per kg (March 17) and chicken breast is at £4.99 per kg.

The receipt here could be clearer though.

Anyone wanting to compare lamb leg prices then we have this receipt from Ni’mat Halal Stun Free in Barking London. The price is coming in at £13.99 per kg.

Manchester Superstores label their receipts and here the price being charged on March 16 for mutton mix was £7.49 per kg. But their Chicken mince is reasonable (compared to others) at £3.99 on Monday.

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Compare this to the Preston Barkat store this mince meat was bought for £5.50 per kilo (chicken mince). The video which was being shared called this price high.

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The Barkat Food Store displayed the price on our visit here (Wednesday March 18) but they had very little to sell.

Worldwide Foods (below), Manchester labelled their lamb mince at £9.99 per kg.

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In Slough the prices at halal meat shops were £14 per kg for lamb and £13 per kilo for mince-meat.

We have had a few calls about PK Foods (Blackburn and Bolton). But the price is clearly listed here (Wednesday March 18) on our visit to the store. This store was one of few stores who labelled their prices rather than customers waiting to be told by the worker behind the counter.

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Additonal store products will feature in a separate article as will a feature on the supply chain.