HCC focus group targets lamb sales

Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) aims to boost lamb purchases, with the Welsh meat promotional body having convened a focus group to pinpoint emerging trends that are ripe for development. 

HCC marketing executives have met representatives of Wales’ food innovation centres and training providers for caterers to discuss how new product development could boost the red meat industry.

Group members included David Lloyd, Zero2Five Food Industry Centre director at Cardiff Metropolitan University, and Ann Marie Flint, technical manager at the Food Technology Centre, Coleg Menai, in Bangor. Myrddin Davies, at collaborative Welsh food group Cywain, and Arwyn Watkins, chairman and managing director of Cambrian Training, were other participants.

Also present was HCC scholar Peter Rushforth, the award-winning Flintshire butcher who recently returned from a trip to the US to study developments in cured meats and economical cuts.

Lamb sales are higher among over-55 age groups, so one of the challenges was to find ways for lamb to appeal to younger shoppers, the organisation has claimed. In particular, it is pursuing work on developing ‘ready-to-cook’ options.

“Of course, most new product development that consumers see is funded by suppliers and retailers,” said HCC’s marketing manager Rhys Llywelyn. “However, HCC, working with partners across the industry, has a role to develop ideas at a pre-competitive stage, which can help the whole red meat industry to attract new customers.

“We will take this work forward over the next few months, looking at how we can identify funding for developing new types of lamb products and showcasing new ideas already in development at the Royal Welsh [Show] and other events,” he added.

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