Sales of processed beef products have fallen in the majority of convenience stores in the wake of the horsemeat scandal, according to C-Store research.

A separate poll by Nielsen reveals that 67% of UK adults say they are less likely to purchase processed meat products in the future. The survey of more than 1,000 UK adults, conducted between February 11-13, also shows that more consumers are upset about being misled on food content rather than about having eaten horse meat.

The C-Store poll has found that 52% of convenience retailers to date have reported a decline in processed beef products. A number of retailers have also seen a rise in sales of local meat products, such as Dan Cock of Premier Holsworthy, Devon. “Consumers don’t like to be lied to and they are voting with their feet by buying foods that they know are good quality and traceable,” he said.

Nielsen’s figures show sales of frozen burger were down 40% in value in the week ending February 2 compared to the same week in the previous year. However, sales of branded frozen burgers were on a slight upward trend in the 12 weeks to Feb 2.

“Shoppers are showing confidence in branded burgers, believing that the horse meat issues are confined to retailer own-label products,” said Nielsen frozen food analyst Richard Anderson.

“Those continuing to buy frozen burgers have either shifted to buying branded products from own-label, or have added branded products to their repertoire of purchases.  Given the confidence in brands, and that horse meat is now a wider issue than just burgers, we expect the frozen burger category - which sparked the recent revelations - to recover.”