Rotisserie chicken sales in supermarkets across the UK have fallen significantly thanks to the introduction of the hot food tax.
The levy means that 20 per cent is added to the price of the hot chickens and figures from the British Poultry Council (BPC) have noted that sales have dropped by 18 per cent in the five weeks since the tax was enforced. Prior to the charge coming into force, the organisation explained that around 40 million rotisserie chicken were being sold in supermarkets across the UK but now that has dropped by 3.2 million chickens over the timeframe.
Morrisons, which sells both hot and cold birds, has stated that it has experienced a fall in sales and the trend is evident across other major supermarkets. The BPC noted that the 20 per cent hike has meant that the average price of a host large plain chicken is now up by 90p which has led to retailers selling around 138,000 fewer rotisserie birds every week and 7.2 million less on an annual basis.
Officials at the BPC also noted that since the introduction of the tax, the Treasury has benefited to the tune of £13.35 million in terms of sales.
Peter Bradnock, chief executive of the BPC, said: "In a market where virtually all chickens sold are British, this is clearly having a detrimental effect on our farmers. We know that 70 per cent of rotisserie customers actually consume their purchase cold, so this is unfairly penalising them. This ‘hot VAT’ isn’t raising huge sums for the Treasury but is having a major impact on hard-pressed families and British producers across the country.”
This latest grievance over the hot food tax echoes the issue around the fabled pasty tax which was eventually withdrawn. The levy was designed to be enforced on baked goods that had been put on sale straight from the oven but following mass campaigns from companies and MPs in the West Country, chancellor George Osborne backed down and the tax was not enforced.