30th August 2010

Scotch Lamb Festival Launched by Quality Meat Scotland

A £250,000 campaign aimed at communicating the seasonal succulence of Scotch Lamb in autumn is being launched by Quality Meat Scotland.

This year’s Scotch Lamb Festival will feature the successful “Scotch Lamb - It’s Hot This Autumn” advertising depicting eye-catching autumn leaves under sizzling platters of Scotch Lamb in billboard, bus shelter and print advertising.

A range of new initiatives will also form part of this campaign the launch of which coincides with Scottish Food Fortnight.

These include the recruitment of “Scotch Lamb Champions” among the country’s top chefs who will help to drive awareness of the versatility and simplicity of cooking with Scotch Lamb.

“We have also worked with independent retailers to develop Scotch Lamb marketing materials with a St Andrews theme for our Scotch Butchers Club members,” said Laurent Vernet, Head of Marketing, Quality Meat Scotland.

Historically Scottish consumers have a much lower consumption of lamb per head than south of the border. Research commissioned by Quality Meat Scotland has revealed that in the 12 months to May 2010 there was a significant increase in the number of shoppers purchasing lamb in Scotland.

“This is welcome news. The fact that there are more consumers interested in purchasing lamb in Scotland means we are laying the foundations of a new wave of consumers. While their purchases have been light and there has been an overall decline in frequency of purchase the fact we are introducing new consumers augurs well,” said Mr Vernet.

The three month period to 16 May 2010 saw a 23% increase in volume sales of fresh lamb in Scotland compared with the previous year, with Scottish origin lamb driving this. Mr Vernet gave a cautious welcome to this increase, pointing out the time period it relates to is one of comparatively low volume, saying the real test of the market will come in the months ahead when the greatest volume of Scotch Lamb becomes available.

And QMS-commissioned research reveals that consumer recognition of the Scotch Lamb brand is strong at 72%. Almost half of Scots surveyed in May 2010 rate Scotch Lamb as the “best available” and agree that it is produced with “higher standards”. Additionally around 44% of consumers surveyed agree they are willing to pay more for Scotch Lamb.

And Mr Vernet also gave some details of a new support campaign which will be launched in mid-September. This £200,000 umbrella campaign will for the first time cover all three brands – Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork.

Around 100 farmers from different parts of Scotland will appear in advertising billboards located at consumer hot-spots throughout the country – including all of Scotland’s main cities.

“We are keeping the detail of this campaign under wraps ahead of the official launch in two weeks’ time. However we can say the aim of the campaign is to develop positive awareness between the Scotch brands and world-leading quality schemes which underpin the Scottish red meat production process.

“This is one of the most exciting campaigns we have undertaken on behalf of the industry and it will feature state-of-the-art interactive technology never before used in Scotland,” said Mr Vernet.

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