Bpex urges butchers to use pork for burgers

Independent butchers should look to pork to capitalise on the trend for premium burgers, according to pork levy board Bpex.

Keith Fisher, butchery development manager at Bpex told Meat Trades Journal that the burger market is open to huge exploitation from the independent retail sector.

“We know from British Sausage Week that butchers are well-practised at delivering many innovative flavour varieties and, with just a minor tweak, these mixes can be adapted to their burger operations. Think about some of the more popular varieties, such as Pork and Leek, Pork and Chilli, Pork and Stilton to name just a few, and use accordingly,” Fisher said.

The premium burger market has grown in the past year, with many retailers and foodservice outlets opting for quality burger products.

According to Kantar Worldpanel data, in 2014 the value of pork burgers increased to £30m and volume grew by almost 22%. However, pork burgers still have a small overall market share of just 5%.

Fisher said pork was a versatile meat to work with and lent itself well to adding flavours – sometimes more so than the traditional beef burger.

He recommended butchers experiment with ingredients when developing burger products. This can be as simple as a mix of pork mince with Italian herbs, tomato, pecorino or mozzarella cheese or with Chinese spices, spring onion and ginger.

“We know that butchers are adept at using ingredients that are in season or in plentiful supply and this, too, can be used to good effect in burger-making. Fruits, vegetables or even new deli-style products can be incorporated as specials or put on trial for short periods of time – who knows, this could be the recipe that becomes the next big seller.”

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