HCC’s Summer and Autumn marketing campaigns “Hugely Successful”

HCC’s summer and autumn PGI Welsh Lamb marketing campaigns were hugely successful, reaching three times more target consumers, increasing brand awareness and paving the way in a difficult climate for a substantial increase in both multiple retail sales and shelf share, independent analytics reveal.

“In the major supermarkets, year on year spending on all lamb was generally down by nearly two per cent but branded PGI Welsh Lamb sales increased by a sizeable 5.6 per cent, with the main product growth in quality cuts like steaks and legs,” said Laura Pickup, HCC’s Market Development Manager.

“Contrary to some industry predictions, in the promoted period Welsh Lamb not only held its own but increased its share of the market by nearly ten per cent on 2014 equivalents, while competitors like New Zealand lamb saw its share of sales fall by nearly 20 per cent year on year,” said Mrs. Pickup.

The summer and autumn campaigns:

supported an increase in supermarket Welsh Lamb sales;

encouraged the positioning of more Welsh Lamb on supermarket shelves;

increased consumer awareness of Welsh Lamb;

improved awareness of Welsh Lamb’s quality, versatility, convenience and cost effectiveness;

grew the consumer concept of Welsh Lamb as a ‘brand for me’;

positioned Welsh Lamb as part of a healthy balanced diet.

“HCC’s marketing strategy was crafted and developed in response to a highly turbulent period with prices hit badly by punitive exchange rates that hit our exports and created a flood of low-cost imports from New Zealand,” she said.

“While we can do nothing about these continuing global forces and their effect on depressing prices, we can battle to protect our market share by engaging with consumers and letting them know about our premium products, great taste and quality,” said Mrs. Pickup. “That’s why Welsh Lamb’s shelf space performance in supermarkets is particularly pleasing. In the campaign period, we commanded a further ten per cent of shelf space against our competitors, part of an unbroken week-on-week increase since October 2013 that has seen nearly twice as much Welsh Lamb on supermarket shelves in just over two years.”

Mrs. Pickup attributed the successes to engaging the near 7.7m target audience with a passion for food and cooking. “Historically our TV campaigns were aimed at regional TV and in Wales, Meridian and Central. However satellite channels now offer wider, and more cost effective promotion, attracting nearly a quarter of our target viewers,” said Mrs. Pickup.

The PGI Welsh Lamb campaigns included TV, six-sheet posters, digital, point-of-sale and experiential, including road shows and touring billboards. They ran from mid-July until the end of November with all year round social media and PR support, which will continue into the New Year. PR advertising equivalents reached near £1.5m and HCC enabled a significant increase in followers across all social media platforms.

“There is still a lot of work to do,” said Mrs. Pickup. “Lamb still has a low frequency of purchase and we need to try to stimulate further demand for PGI Welsh Lamb with new consumers as well as encouraging existing consumers to enjoy Welsh Lamb more often; we must also keep up with changing consumer cooking methods to ensure we put PGI Welsh Lamb products on the shelf that are in a format our target market want to buy and cook.”