Lamb – appealing to consumer taste

02 September 2015

  • Taste is the most important reason consumers buy lamb
  • Innovation is key to reviving the fortunes of the category
  • Inspire confidence through quality and consistency

Lamb – appealing to consumer tasteThese are some of the findings from bespoke research commissioned by AHDB Beef & Lamb, which are presented in a new Cutting Edge special report: Lamb It’s the Taste -Naturally.

The research was conducted to help AHDB Beef & Lamb develop a better understanding of how the lamb category is currently perceived by consumers and to identify the barriers to purchase and consumption.

The resulting report will provide retailers with an insight into what motivates lamb consumers and demonstrate that innovation – spearheaded by new cuts which are merchandised to maximise lamb’s natural appeal and communicate its positive benefits – is crucial to driving growth back into the category.

Mike Whittemore, head of trade marketing for AHDB Beef & Lamb, said: "Our research confirmed that lamb is regarded by consumers as the tastiest of red meats. We believe that presenting shoppers with the right products to suit their needs could stimulate demand and reverse the recent decline in consumption.”

Lamb has a premium positioning, justified by its highly appealing and distinctive taste, which means consumers are prepared to pay more for it. It is seen as more natural – and locally sourced – than other meats. Lamb undergoes scrutiny when it comes to value for money and, as such, it must be seen to deliver on quality and consistency. Lamb is also challenged because of a perceived lack of versatility and question marks around health.

The report also highlights standout cuts from the consumer research trials. Two cuts in particular performed exceptionally well, with distinct consumer appeal and potential to add real value to the market. The Lamb Cannon was perceived as delivering something new to the category and was recognised as being quick to cook and of good quality. The Lamb 3-Bone Rack impressed consumers too. Currently not listed anywhere in the retail market, the cut was perceived as having the ‘wow’ factor, while providing value for money.

Mike added: "We believe these two cuts have huge potential; getting them onto supermarket shelves is one important step, but so, too, is getting the quality and consistency of the product right. We have used modern butchery techniques to produce these – and other lamb cuts in our range – with the objective of enhancing consumer confidence in the protein and encouraging repeat purchase.”

AHDB Beef & Lamb’s Quality Standard Mark (QSM) Scheme plays an important role in differentiating quality lamb. The scheme’s tough standards combine guarantees of provenance and assurance with a consistently enhanced eating quality. Displaying the QSM logo at point-of-purchase enables retailers to confidently share these assurances with customers.

To find out more about the research findings from AHDB Beef & Lamb, please see the full report here.

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