Costco boosts Scotch lamb

Wholesale cash and carry outlet, Costco Wholesale UK, has given a welcome boost to Scottish lamb sales, after it announced that it was stocking a range of Scotch lamb in four of its warehouses.

The chain of warehouse clubs, which has 580 stores across the world, sells high-quality merchandise to business at low prices. 

Portlethen-based processor McIntosh Donald is supplying the lamb for Costco warehouses in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Gateshead.

Jonathan Charles, Costco’s fresh meat buyer, said: “We identified a need for regional supply in our warehouses in Scotland and Gateshead and our catering members in those warehouses will be able to benefit from locally sourced lamb with ‘Scotch’ provenance and traceability right back to the farm.”

Jim McLaren, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), said the news was an excellent endorsement of the quality of Scotch Lamb and the steadily growing recognition of what the brand stands for.

Alan McNaughton, site director at McIntosh Donald, said: “This is clear evidence of Costco’s strong commitment to regional supply. It is very welcome to get this sort of support for Scotch Lamb, especially at a time when lamb consumption in the UK is showing decline.”

Earlier this spring, the rocketing cost of lamb prompted many in the foodservice sector to take lamb off the menu. Research from Kantar Worldpanel also revealed that sales of lamb plunged by 37% over Easter, in the eight weeks to May 2011.

Although the price of Scottish lamb has come down as a result of usual seasonal decline, it is still 20% higher than at the end of June 2010, according to the latest figures from QMS.