Meat marketing campaigns hailed as ‘hugely successful’

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) summer and winter PGI Welsh Lamb marketing campaigns have been considered a huge success. 

Independent analytics revealed that the marketing activity reached three times the targeted consumers, increased brand awareness and paved the way for a rise in both multiple retail and sales and shelf-share.

“In the major supermarkets, year-on-year spending on all lamb was generally down by nearly 2%, but branded PGI Welsh Lamb sales increased by a sizeable 5.6%, with the main product growth in quality cuts like steaks and legs,” explained Laura Pickup, HCC’s market development manager.

Running from mid-July to the end of November, the campaigns included TV, six-sheet posters, digital activity, and road shows and touring billboards. This was supported by all-year-round social media and PR backing, which is set to continue into the New Year.

“Contrary to some industry predictions, in the promoted period Welsh Lamb not only held its own, but increased its share of the market by nearly 10% on 2014 equivalents, while competitors like New Zealand lamb saw its share of sales fall by nearly 20% year-on-year.”

The summer and autumn campaigns helped to support an increase in supermarket Welsh Lamb sales, encouraged the positioning of more Welsh Lamb on supermarket shelves, increased consumer awareness of Welsh Lamb, grew the consumer concept of the product as ‘a brand for me’ and positioned Welsh Lamb as part of a healthy balanced diet, said HCC.

“HCC’s marketing strategy was crafted and developed in response to a highly turbulent period with prices hit badly by punitive exchange rates that hit our exports and created a flood of low-cost imports from New Zealand,” added Pickup.

“While we can do nothing about these continuing global forces and their effect on depressing prices, we can battle to protect our market share by engaging with consumers and letting them know about our premium products, great taste and quality. That’s why Welsh Lamb’s shelf-space performance in supermarkets is particularly pleasing.

“In the campaign period, we commanded a further 10% of shelf space against our competitors, part of an unbroken week-on-week increase since October 2013 that has seen nearly twice as much Welsh Lamb on supermarket shelves in just over two years.”

Despite positive steps in the right direction, Pickup concluded that there is still a lot of work to be done. “Lamb still has a low frequency of purchase and we need to try to stimulate further demand for PGI Welsh Lamb with new consumers, as well as encouraging existing consumers to enjoy Welsh Lamb more often; we must also keep up with changing consumer cooking methods to ensure we put PGI Welsh Lamb products on the shelf that are in a format our target market wants to buy and cook.”

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