A new £1.4 million marketing campaign for lamb is to be launched by AHDB as industry seeks to further support the sheep sector.
The promotional push, which has the backing of the NFU, will see targeted promotional activity in two bursts, the first starting in summer and the second in September, to coincide with peak supply of British lamb.
By focusing on lamb’s unique flavour and its versatility, the work aims to stem the steady decline in lamb sales and boost consumer attitudes towards the meat across a number of different target audiences.
AHDB will be liaising closely with retailers, foodservice outlets and industry stakeholders to ensure a coordinated approach to support promotion of the sheep sector in the coming months.
Will Jackson, AHDB Beef & Lamb Sector Strategy Director, said: “AHDB has been working for some months to see how best we can support the sheep sector in the face of uncertainty. Though outcomes are still unclear, we’re focusing our marketing efforts on sheep for the forthcoming seasons to ensure lamb is at the forefront of consumers’ minds – coinciding with the availability of autumn lamb for shoppers. This will mean efforts being concentrated on delivering a lamb advertising and promotional campaign in summer and September 2019.
“Day-to-day work will continue in other respects to support both beef and lamb with meat, health and environment being key parts of the ongoing strategy. AHDB R&D, knowledge transfer, export and communications work will continue as normal for beef.
“We have discussed this lamb focus with the NFU and it is fully supportive of the board’s move.”
Christine Watts, AHDB Chief Officer for Communications and Market Development, said: “This exciting new AHDB campaign aims to reignite consumers’ love of lamb and make it relevant for their lifestyles by highlighting its superior taste and versatility. It is part of a multi-million pound series of marketing promotions on the domestic market planned in 2019.”
The campaign, currently being worked on by creative teams, will use a variety of different channels, such as large format outdoor posters, press adverts and social media channels to hit different target audiences. Plus, AHDB will be running an additional campaign specifically for levy-payers. This will include physical and digital materials such as social media guides and promotional displays to help provide farmers with further support and guidance in marketing their produce at key times in the production year.
Richard Findlay, NFU Livestock Board Chairman, said: “We’re fully supportive of the move of marketing to concentrate on lamb, helping to retain and grow our domestic market during a period of uncertainty. Timing the campaign in September means consumers can enjoy British lamb in the height of our season and it’s a great opportunity to drive sales.”
The work forms part of a much wider, rolling programme of promotion of red meat, covering consumer, trade, work with retailers, health, nutrition and the environment. In 2018/19, AHDB Beef & Lamb invested in £9.762m of its income on promotion and PR support for beef and lamb at home and abroad, roughly 61% of its income.