Shoppers pay for provenance
New retail price data confirms consumers increasingly discriminate between beef and lamb on the basis of provenance and are willing to reflect this in the price they pay.
The data, produced for the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX), reveals that in the four years to 2007, the average retail prices of beef and lamb sold specifically as English have seen sustained rises at retail level.
Compared with 2003, the average retail price of beef sold last year as English has increased by 14.9%, while beef sold as British has increased by 9.8%. This compares to the average price of imported beef which has increased by 2% since 2003, and the average price of beef across all origins which has increased by 8.6%.
The average retail price of lamb sold as English has risen by 10.3% over the same period, compared to a rise of 1.1% for British. The average retail price of lamb labelled as New Zealand finished the period less than one per cent higher than 2003, but this does hide considerable annual swings in average retail price.
EBLEX chairman John Cross called on the supply chain to recognise the power of providing consumers with informed choice. He urged them to use a combination of provenance and eating quality to differentiate their beef and lamb products from the price driven commodity markets.
"All our research shows that consumers do differentiate on provenance and eating quality and these figures show they are willing to back that up at the till.
"It's clear that the EBLEX Quality Standard scheme is playing its part in communicating this straightforward message to consumers."