NPD could generate £92m in added sales

Almost £92m in extra sales could be generated if the meat industry pursued new product development opportunities proposed by AHDB Beef & Lamb, according to the sector group.

Dick van Leeuwen, AHDB Beef & Lamb business development manager, highlighted the benefits of creative cuts to delegates at its ‘A World of Innovation’ conference at the Tower of London earlier this month.

The biggest gain could be achieved by seam butchering lamb legs and selling them as topside mini-joints, thick flank mini-joints, silverside mini-joints and shanks instead of bone-in leg joints, he argued. That could result in an extra £63.2m in annual retail sales, he estimated.

Seam butchering beef shoulder and selling it as boneless Victoria Roasts as opposed to bone-in shoulder joints could also add £5.83m to the annual retail sales value of the shoulder, he said.

In addition, he urged retailers and processors to explore tri-tip steaks, which had already seen real growth in popularity across Europe and America.

He urged butchers: “Continue to work on the quality and consistency of cuts and better butchery. There’s potential value in some cuts, which we overlook.”

Separately, conference attendees heard about trials on microwaveable bags for cooking raw meat by UK firm Excelsior Technologies, which it is testing with US partners.

“As it cooks, it expands and the air heats up and cooks the product,” explained Steve Wald, executive director for innovation at the Beef Innovations Group.

Wald said technology was evolving to the point where microwave cooking could produce much better- quality meat dishes than it used to.

He hoped commercial use of the bags could begin in the US from early 2016.

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