Lamb or ham’s the plan for Kiwis this Christmas

Pavlova the pick of the puddings

Salads and spuds most likely to be on Kiwi’s Christmas plate.

Lamb was voted as the meat of choice for Kiwis this Christmas as part of the Classic Kiwi Christmas Census 2019, followed in a very tight second by ham.

The poll – which was conducted by Retail Meat New Zealand in conjunction with Beef + Lamb New Zealand – of over 1,300 Kiwis covering a range of Christmas traditions, saw lamb as the go-to meat of choice with 34% of respondents. Ham was only two votes behind in second with 33% and beef came third with 13%.

This represents a significant change in meat choice, with last year’s survey returning a strong mandate for ham which secured 37% of the vote versus 30% for lamb in 2018.

Christmas is a time for friends and family with over 40% of respondents stating they would be spending Christmas Day with 10 or more people. However, feeding all those friends and family can be stressful. Alto Butcher of the Year 2019, Greg Egerton from Princes Street Butcher and Kitchen, had some calming words of advice for Kiwis keen for a relaxed festive period.

“My advice to everyone is prep like a pro. For me, Christmas is about spending time with my friends and family, so I don’t want to be spending it holed up in the kitchen away from everyone. If you’re planning on cooking a leg of lamb this year, have a look at for some tips on prepping your meat or ask your local butcher for their top tips on reducing your kitchen time this Christmas.”

Cooking methods for the meat on the day were dominated by ovens and BBQs, capturing 51% and 43% respectively.

What makes up the rest of your plate can almost be as important as the meat. Potatoes and mixed salads dominated the results in this domain, taking a 90% and 75% share respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, brussels sprouts – that Christmas tradition everyone loves to hate – would only be gracing the plates of 7% whilst kale came bottom with a miserly 2%.

The quintessentially Kiwi Pavlova (71%) of course took the top spot in the dessert stakes, with trifle (48%), strawberries with ice cream (47%) and fruit salad (46%) in close pursuit. It was also a notable favourite Christmas tradition of many to have trifle for breakfast on Boxing Day.

Once the eating is over, attention turns to some quality time with the family. Top activities for New Zealanders included (naturally) opening presents (80%), backyard games (50%) and 40% having a sleep (aka a food coma). 17 people even stated they were going to get out for a round of golf.

Regardless of what kai you’ll be eating and games you’ll be playing, this festive season have a laugh, create new memories and enjoy Christmas with those you love.