17th November 2015

Opportunities Ahead for Specially Selected Pork

Plans to start working with the industry on a new promotional campaign behind the Specially Selected Pork brand, were outlined today (November 17th 2015) at the Scottish Pig Industry Conference.

According to Laurent Vernet, Head of Marketing with Quality Meat Scotland, the return of pig levy to the Scottish industry following the expansion of slaughtering capacity at Brechin, should give a very welcome opportunity for the Specially Selected Pork brand.

One of the first steps, he said, will be for QMS to work closely with the Marketing Strategy Group, made up of industry representatives, to develop promotion plans for the brand.

“The Quality Meat Scotland marketing team is looking forward to working with the industry to consider the options for re-launching the Specially Selected Pork brand, as levy income to support promotional in 2016/17 become available,” said Mr Vernet.

While he recognised the real challenges the Scottish pig sector faces, he said producers had much to feel positive about.

“Our consumer research indicates that the Specially Selected Pork brand is very much supported by younger Scottish consumers and, while Scottish-origin fresh pork has a small market share in Scotland due to limited branded supply, it is encouraging to note that its share of the market is stable,” Mr Vernet observed.

“Another very encouraging sign for the future is that, despite the fact that we have not been able to undertake any major promotional activity behind the Specially Selected Pork brand since late 2012 when the Halls of Broxburn plant run by Vion closed, the brand is still very well recognised,” he added.

“Forty-two per cent of Scottish shoppers recognise and trust the Specially Selected Pork brand. Specially Selected Pork branded products are available in three Scottish retailers, representing a third of the fresh pork Scottish market retail share.”

He pointed out that Quality Meat Scotland’s partnership with the Scottish SPCA also played an important role in communicating the message of higher pig welfare and wellbeing to consumers.

However, he emphasised that while there was much to look forward to there were also real challenges in the marketplace to be recognised. The reality is, he said, that in line with GB trends, volume sales of fresh pork were down 8.5 per cent year-on-year in Scotland and average retail price was also down by 3.7 per cent.


“There is no doubt that there are some challenges to be tackled but our Scottish pig industry has many strong messages, such as the priority given to health and welfare, and I believe there are real opportunities to grow the Specially Selected Pork brand in the months and years ahead.”



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