There is a common misguided belief that Spring is the best time of year for sourcing new season Welsh Lamb, according to consumer research conducted by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) ahead of the UK-wide campaign to promote local lamb, ‘Love Lamb Week.’
As part of HCC’s latest marketing campaign for Welsh Lamb PGI, a survey was undertaken during a supermarket tour to discover what people know and understand about one of our most natural products.
The results showed that quality and country of origin were the main things that shoppers looked for when buying red meat. Nearly 80% looked to source Welsh produce where possible, but 57.8% thought that spring was the best time to buy new season PGI Welsh Lamb whereas in fact it’s most widely available during the second half of the year.
Addressing this misconception is one of the key aims of HCC’s 2016 Welsh Lamb marketing drive in the UK market. The plentiful availability of PGI Welsh Lamb in supermarket stores and butchers shops was highlighted during the supermarket trailer tour earlier this month, visiting retailers at locations including Carmarthen, Cardiff and Bangor.
Farmer and NSA Young Ambassador, Jacob Anthony, who farms with his family at Cwmrisca, near Bridgend, took part in the tour. He said: "It was a surprise to me that so many consumers thought that spring was the best time to buy Welsh Lamb. But people are really keen to source quality locally-produced produce.
“Meeting shoppers face-to-face on HCC's cooking trailer in Bridgend, and marketing drives such as 'Llamb's Day' on 1 August and ‘Love Lamb Week’ in early September, offer a great opportunity to engage with consumers and spread the message. Our outstanding locally-produced lamb is most widely-available in the shops in summer and autumn, and if people know when to look out for it their buying preferences can influence the decisions of the retailers."
‘Love Lamb Week’ is a week of promotional activity to celebrate the availability, quality and versatility of locally produced lamb, held between 1-7 September.
Elwen Roberts, HCC’s Consumer Executive said: “HCC’s marketing campaign aims to dispel the myth that new season lamb should be sourced in the Spring and educate consumers on the best time to purchase the product. ‘Love Lamb Week’ is another opportunity to get the message across to consumers across the country.
“We’re calling on all producers, butchers, chefs and consumers to join us over the coming seven days in particular to spread the word about the fantastic lamb that’s produced in our country. What a great excuse to enjoy cooking and eating it too!”
Social media enthusiasts can promote the product by joining in the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #LoveLambWeek and #LoveLamb, by sharing pictures of any activity or make mouths water with delicious lamb dinner snaps.
Free resources can be downloaded from the HCC website - http://hccmpw.org.uk/marketing/consumer/love_lamb_week_17_september_2016 - to promote events, to generate local press coverage and to support any other innovative ideas.
Hundreds of Welsh Lamb recipes can be found online - http://eatwelshlambandwelshbeef.com/en/recipes - and recipe leaflets can also be picked up at HCC Butchers’ Club members’ shops across Wales.