As Easter approaches, consumers are shopping for all sizes and types of ham this week as they plan smaller Easter celebrations.
According to Kiersten Hafer of the National Pork Board, most consumers traditionally focused on spiral cut, bone-in and boneless hams when considering special occasion hams.
Sales of ham grew during the pandemic, as more meals were prepared and eaten at home, Hafer said.
“We think that we will have a very similar Easter this year, where we’ll have some strong ham consumption and it’s really going to be centered around smaller sized items.”
So why is ham so popular during Easter and other holiday celebrations? Hafer said Pork Checkoff-funded research asked that question of consumers.
She said the research revealed two main reasons for the increase in ham consumption. First, consumers find ham to be a crowd pleaser. Second, consumers love the flavor of ham.
“So as we think about the Easter occasion and we think about those holiday celebrations, they feel good about serving [ham], it really checks the box for a great eating experience and everyone’s happy.”
Hafer also said through the research, consumers are reporting they will continue to host smaller gatherings, averaging about four people, during Easter 2021.
She said the research shows ham will still be the centerpiece of the meal, but instead of purchasing the traditional large ham, consumers are reporting they will purchase half or quarter hams.
More information on how to prepare Easter ham can be found at www.pork.org.