Tesco unveils new red meat plans

Tesco is aiming to improve its lamb offering and explained its new plans and innovations at an Eblex press conference last month.

The chain’s commercial manager for lamb and speciality red meat Adele Davenall Gabain gave a presentation on how the supermarket is improving its lamb selection.

She explained that the trend in the red meat market was that lamb appeals to traditional, fine foods and older customers but that there was a massive opportunity to gather interest from younger consumers, for example. “Customers are at the heart of our decision,” said Davenall Gabain.

The supermarket also works with Eblex during product development to gain insight into butchery expertise and innovation. “Eblex will come in and speak to us about what they can do,” she added.

Suppliers and Eblex are briefed on what Tesco is targeting for. “I’m looking for more convenience for my customers. I’m looking for them to have convenient, easy-to-cook roasting joints, for example, that would appeal to young adults.

“We also look at range gap,” Davenall Gabain continued. She emphasised the importance of checking what competitors are doing to keep up with the market. “Is there anything that they’re doing that we’re not doing?”

With new innovations, Tesco firstly looks at restaurants, because that normally gives a guide of where the food industry is going to go and, that way, customers see it in restaurants first and get a taste for it. It also looks at new flavours and, this year, it has been a lot about smoking, she said.

With lamb, she explained that plate waste was a big issue with consumers, because they do not like seeing much fat and bone on their plates, as it gave them a sense that, for example, they had bought a pack of lamb chops and only got 20% of it at the end. This had been addressed in the new range, she added.

Tesco has also started including more information about the producer, and tried to simplify the shopping experience for the customer, at the same time as focus on the fastest-growing area – online shopping.

The supermarket has also addressed the problem of lack of knowledge among staff and, last year, it trained its staff in the meat aisle and gave them a flip chart, which included tips on cooking and quality.