Pulled pork campaign pays off

Pork shoulder sales leapt in May, suggesting a promotional campaign launched by AHDB Pork is paying off, the trade body claimed.

The organisation said Kantar Worldpanel figures showed pork shoulder volumes up by 37% in the four weeks to May 24, while value sales grew by 36% compared with the same period in 2014.

Further data indicated that about 80% of the value increase came from shoppers switching from other proteins or buying pork shoulder on top of other proteins.

Almost a third of households bought more pork shoulder than they did a year earlier, meaning five per cent of UK households were now buying it, AHDB Pork, previously the British Pig Executive (BPEX), said.

However, it stressed these were only interim results and it was continuing to evaluate the promotional programme, which began on May 8 with a TV advert following the final credits of Coronation Street on ITV1.

Tracking perceptions

Further assessment would include full sales figures for the entire campaign, which ran until May 31, plus consumer research tracking perceptions of pork and pulled pork, as a result of the marketing drive, it added.

“The pulled pork campaign is the first step in rejuvenating the image of pork among 25-55 years consumers,” said Kirsty Walker, head of marketing for AHDB Pork. “These interim results suggest we’ve achieved this.

“Over the past decade sales of fresh pork has been flat or in decline. This issue affects the whole pig industry and is a problem which is only going to worsen if steps are not taken to reach out to the younger consumer.

‘Arrested decline’

Whilst Kantar data shows total pork volume is still decreasing - down three per cent in volume terms last year – the interim results suggest the campaign arrested the decline during the period evaluated.”

Walker said AHDB was pleased with the results so far, but still needed to evaluate the impact of the whole campaign, which included television advertising, digital advertising, PR, retailer promotions and in-store activity.

“We will share these results with industry as soon as they are available,” she added. With the first phase of the promotion now over, the complete information would help shape a second phase, which it is hoped will begin later this year.

AHDB Pork announced Michelin-star chef Tom Kerridge as ambassador for the promotional programme at the end of April.

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