Convenience options drive Welsh lamb sector

Tapping into the convenience market has the potential to offer a £7.2 million opportunity for the Welsh lamb sector. 

This news is the result of research conducted by Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) in conjunction with Kantar Worldpanel. 

HCC works closely with some of the UK’s leading supermarkets to promote PGI Welsh Lamb, as well as with independent retailers. This year, the Welsh levy board will have a focus on a new strategy of growing the convenience sector which will provide the opportunity to attract younger customers short of time.

Ready meal options have experienced a resurgence in recent years, according to HCC, with these types of meals seeing an increase of 29% year on year.

“Successfully growing a younger market for lamb offers a challenge, but also a great opportunity,” commented HCC’s market development executive Sue Franklin. “We’re working with Kantar Worldpanel to understand the rapidly changing market, and discussing with supermarkets to ensure that high-quality PGI Welsh Lamb is available in the sectors which look set to grow in the coming year.”

Since the New Year, HCC has met with many UK retailers to present its research and discuss opportunities in investing in new products.

“At the moment chicken, in particular, is leading the way in the growth of ready-to-cook meals, which are popular among younger consumers who are pushed for time,” added Franklin. “People are opting for choices such as breast fillets in a foil tray with butter and herbs, or a sweet chilli sauce. They’re willing to pay more for convenience – £5.98 more per kilo for ready-to-cook as opposed to a fresh primary cut.

“While lamb represents 5.5% of ready meals, it accounts for only 1.1% of these new types of ready-to-cook products,” she concluded. “Lamb dishes, with Indian and Italian flavour accompaniments, which are popular among the younger demographics, could work really well in this sector, and would represent a £7.2m opportunity for the lamb industry.”

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