5th August 2015

Masterchef Presenter Backs Scotch Lamb Campaign

Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace urged consumers to make the most of the versatility and simplicity of cooking Scotch Lamb PGI.

Speaking at the launch of Quality Meat Scotland’s campaign to raise the profile of the fantastic taste of locally-produced lamb, Mr Wallace said there was huge scope for many more people to routinely enjoy Scotch Lamb, particularly at this time of year when it is at its most plentiful.

“Lamb had always been my personal favourite and there is real potential for lots more of us to be making the most of this natural, easy-to-cook product which is bursting with flavour and such a great ingredient for a whole range of quick, tasty dishes,” said Mr Wallace.

During a visit north of the border, hosted by QMS, Mr Wallace met farmers, butchers and chefs and learned more about what makes Scotch Lamb one of the finest ingredients in Scotland’s larder.

His trip included a visit to Perthshire sheep farm where Mr Wallace saw first-hand the dedication, care and stockmanship skills behind the production of top quality Scotch Lamb.

John Ritchie and his wife Alix, along with John’s parents George and Karen, run the 750 acre farm near Dunning which is home to 650 ewes.

“We take a real pride in what we do and we are positive about the future. Our intention is very much to continue to build our flock,” said John Ritchie, the third generation of his family to farm at Montalt.

All of the lambs from Montalt are sold to Bridge of Allan-based Scotbeef and the farm is a member of QMS’s quality assurance scheme. Animal welfare is a key aspect of the quality assurance schemes behind Scotch Lamb and Mr Wallace also heard about QMS’s partnership with the Scottish SPCA and “Welfare and Wellbeing Charter” during his visit.

Mr Wallace then headed to Yorkes of Dundee butchers based in Strathmartine Road, where he met owners Frank and Grant Yorke and members of their team of 30 staff.

The business, established in 1985, is a member of QMS’s Scotch Butchers Club. The family prides itself on combining a traditional quality service and seizing new opportunities including developing a range of innovative products.

“I’ve always been a huge Scotch Lamb fan and it’s great to see young families coming into the shop and asking about different cuts and ways to serve lamb,” said Frank Yorke.

“There are lots of really affordable cuts available - like lamb top-side steaks which just take minutes to grill and serve – customers just have to ask and we’ve got loads of great suggestions for recipes,” he added.

During Mr Wallace’s visit to the shop he was able to join staff filling around 2000 pies bound for Manchester United Football Club – including some delicious Scotch Lamb Hot-Pot pies!

The shop sells quality assured Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork and sources meat direct from farms via local livestock auction markets.

Dundee City Council’s Environment Convener Councillor Craig Melville said: “I am delighted to welcome Gregg Wallace to Dundee this week, where he will get to sample some excellent Scotch Lamb.

Whilst in Scotland Mr Wallace also reunited with BBC Masterchef:The Professionals winner Jamie Scott who he teamed up with to prepare a selection of simple, speedy dishes including Scotch Lamb Meatballs, Scotch Lamb Tikka Kebabs, and Scotch lamb and Tomato Curry.

The pair also served up two of their personal favourites – Jamie’s Scotch Lamb Koftas and Gregg’s Courgette and Scotch Lamb Patties.

Mr Wallace’s visit to Scotland is part of the launch by QMS of a high-impact advertising campaign behind Scotch Lamb PGI targeting 3.7 million consumers. The 2015 Scotch Lamb PGI campaign - set to reach over 90% of Scottish adults – is building on last year’s very successful campaign which boosted retail sales of lamb in Scotland by 11%.

“This year’s campaign is very much building on last year’s recipe for success. It was not only those who are lamb-eaters who bought more lamb during the campaign period but also new consumers who don’t usually buy lamb even once a year,” said Suzie Carlaw, QMS Marketing Controller.

A key objective of the 2015 campaign is to encourage consumers to understand the versatility, simplicity and speed of cooking with lamb. The two month long campaign will harness a range of marketing activities to drive Scotch Lamb sales.

The marketing push will include billboard, press and radio advertising as well as on-line and in-store activity including 80 days of activity by Scotch “Lambassadors” in Tesco and Asda.

Recipe leaflets and other point of sale materials will also be distributed via the members of the Scotch Butchers Club, run by QMS.

A range of new videos for on-line and social media use, featuring Edinburgh-based chef Daniella Forbes and Glasgow-based chef Justin Maule demonstrating simple, delicious dishes, has also been produced.

This year’s “Love Scotch Lamb Weekend” will be on September 5th and 6th, when a range of activities will take place around the country to celebrate all that is wonderful about Scotch Lamb PGI.

Historically, Scotland has consumed less lamb than other parts of GB. Around 4,000 tonnes of lamb (worth around £34 million) is eaten each year in Scotland with about 44% of the population purchasing lamb at least once in the last year (versus 57.8% in Great Britain).

The target audience for the campaign is very much young professionals and busy working parents and the message is very much that lamb is not just for roasting at the weekend – it can also make a quick, nutritious mid-week meal for all ages to enjoy.


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