Shoppers look for QSM on pre-packed ham

Consumers are more likely to buy retailers' own-label pre-packed ham if it carries the Quality Standard Mark (QSM) according to a new report.

Consumers are more likely to buy retailers' own label pre-packed ham if it carries the Quality Standard Mark (QSM). This is one of the key findings from new research into the ham category and the importance of country of origin, commissioned by BPEX.

At a time when consumers are increasingly interested in quality and food provenance, retailers that provide recognisable assurances about their ham by displaying the QSM on-pack will reap the rewards, it believes.

The Mark is seen as relevant to purchasing decisions, with 79% of consumers stating that the logo could influence their choice, while 77% agreed that they would be more likely to buy pre-packed own-label ham if it carried the QSM.

The report - 'Ham, The Importance of British and the Quality Standard Mark to Consumers' - aims to give an insight into consumer attitudes and the issues that shape some of their shopping decisions in the ham category.

Richard Cullen, BPEX research and insight manager, said: "The report clearly shows that the QSM for ham is not only widely recognised by consumers, but also provides them with positive reassurances about product quality, production values and animal welfare standards. In addition, the presence of the QSM provides an incentive for the vast majority of shoppers to buy a retailer's own-brand ham."

The report also takes an in-depth look at the values of premium/standard ham buyers. Country of origin is important to them and they believe that everybody has a right to know where their ham comes from.

Cullen added: "As one of its strengths, the QSM provides country-of-origin information at a glance. This, combined with the fact that it is clearly recognisable, endorses quality and provides consumers with the reassurances they are seeking, as well as adding value to own-brand products and increasing sales, surely offers retailers a distinct advantage they cannot afford to ignore."

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