THE first salvo in the supermarket Christmas price wars has been fired, with Woolworths to slice whole leg hams by up to $18.
A Woolworths ham, averaging 7-9kg, will be the cheapest it has been in almost three decades, according to the supermarket giant's head of fresh meat, Andrew Goudie.
"I haven't seen the price of hams change in 27 years, from around $8 a kilo. They don't go up much and they don't go down much," the butcher said.
The pricing discount will be one of 21 key items the supermarket will slash between now and Christmas Day, saving shoppers up to $50 in their shopping trolleys.
Cooked on the bone leg ham is the top-selling festive ham, with Woolworths selling 1800 tonnes of half and whole legs last Christmas.
Nielsen data indicates about 2200 tonnes of ham will be sold nationally between October and late January.
Woolworths expects sales of whole legs to grow by 25 per cent this year, driven by the $2/kg price drop and a trend towards serving a traditional whole baked, glazed leg ham.
"Ninety per cent of what we would sell is the half leg ham and 10 per cent will be the full leg ham," Mr Goudie said.
"The big one is for people who really want to do a bake at home - a really traditional ham."
Woolworths will also slash the price of its own-brand, cooked on the bone half leg hams by $1/kg to $7.99, with sales expected to grow by 13-15 per cent as smaller families move to buy two small hams, one in November and another in the week before Christmas.
"The Christmas ham is a big purchase for consumers," he said. "With those full leg hams, people are starting to do a little bit more at home because there's a bit more of a wow factor."
All of the hams sold by Woolworths are 100 per cent Australian pork.
Read more at The Daily Telegraph