Barbecue campaign tackles steak fears

AHDB Beef & Lamb aims to debunk misconceptions that steaks are too difficult to cook on the barbecue in a broader campaign designed to give the negative image of the Great British barbecue a makeover. 

“It’s a misconception that steak is difficult to cook on the barbecue - it’s actually one of the quickest and tastiest cuts to prepare on the grill,” said Nick White, head of marketing for AHDB Beef & Lamb. “It’s brilliantly versatile and there are numerous ways to enjoy it, from cutting it into kebabs to marinating it in different flavours; it’s an easy way to impress guests.”

With the official start of summer a week away, the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board’s Beef & Lamb division is taking the opportunity to reverse the public’s perception of the British BBQ. This comes after a survey for the levy board’s Simply Beef and Lamb initiative indicated that Britain’s BBQs have been voted the worst in the world.

The survey asked 2,000 British consumers 16 questions concerning the summer occasions. Top reasons given on Britain being voted the worst at the BBQ were: burnt food, ‘backseat’ BBQ-ers and drunken arguments.

Taking inspiration from Australia, Argentina and America - for which over half of the surveyed people said are better at barbecuing than us - AHDB Beef & Lamb is hoping to get British BBQs back on track.

The opportunities for beef and lamb suppliers have been highlighted by the amount of barbecues that took place last year. According to Kantar figures for the 52 weeks ending 31 December, 108 million barbecues took place last year, 46% during mid-week and 54% over the weekend. The number of barbecues held rose 6% on the previous year.

For beef farmers, minced meat accounts for half of carcass utilisation, providing opportunities for producers. It is also the main way that the younger consumer chooses to eat beef.

Surrey-based beef farmer and butcher Steve Conisbee added: “Beef steak is delicious and with millions of Brits barbecuing any day of the week, we need to help them learn to barbecue steaks just like the Australians or Argentinians do.”

Meanwhile, the campaign will benefit lamb by increasing demand during the months of June, July and August, when English lamb is most prominent.

Ros Turner, a sheep farmer from Leicestershire, said: “Whether young or old, the majority of us love a barbecue. During the summer months, high quality British lamb is in plentiful supply. Helping us Brits to learn delicious recipes for the barbecue is a perfect way to introduce younger people to lamb as a regular, tasty part of their diet.”

The Simply Beef and Lamb campaign is running throughout the summer months, and is receiving support from YouTuber Anto Sharp and ‘Food Busker’ John Quilter - who together have more than 1.4 million followers on social media.

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