Local food is a top priority on consumers’ Christmas wish list

More and more conscientious consumers care about where their food comes from, according to independent butchers across Wales.

In a survey conducted by red meat agency Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), butchers reported that nearly half (49%) of their customers have been asking about the origin and traceability of the meat they sell in recent months.

The survey was conducted to assess butchers’ overall opinion of the latest POS kits which included posters and pamphlets produced by HCC and have reportedly boosted business and sales of red meat. It revealed that 42% of independent butchers said that their sales of Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef have increased since receiving the seasonal marketing material.

The POS kits produced for the Autumn and Winter seasons included promotional posters and recipe leaflets and were distributed to HCC’s 300-strong Butchers’ Club, a network of specialist shopkeepers who are dedicated to providing the best Welsh Beef and Welsh Lamb on the high street.

80% of these butchers reported that the latest kits were ‘very good’ and some of the feedback received said that “all customers like to have the recipes, [and the kits] also help our sales,” “we are always happy to receive these kits,” and “lovely recipes for Christmas.”

HCC’s Market Development Manager Rhys Llywelyn said: “It is important that the materials we produce to promote our red meat products are in line with what the industry needs and wants. Our Autumn/Winter POS kits have clearly struck a chord with members of our butchers’ club and with the public who have been buying more branded Welsh meat and are more aware of where their food comes from.

“It was also interesting to see that 47% of butchers believe that added value and traditional cuts are of equal importance which demonstrates a need to invest in product innovation and to maintain consumer demand in traditional cuts of meat.”

Pontardawe butcher Clinton Roberts said: “We are always pleased to receive HCC’s free marketing materials and our customers really like them too! At this time of year, people are keen to serve something special for family and friends; a locally produced joint of red meat is a perfect centrepiece for your Christmas table.”

The butchers reported that the most popular lamb cuts were chops, legs and shoulders, and for beef, customers have recently bought more topside joints, followed by mince and steaks.

The recipe suggestions included in the leaflets used a range of different cuts and were submitted by some of the UK’s foremost food writers and bloggers who worked with HCC to develop new dishes with PGI Welsh Lamb. These included famous food writer and television personality Gizzi Erskine, Ren Behan, a regular contributor to Jamie Oliver’s website, and Becky Wiggins.