High hopes for beef sales

EBLEX launches high profile PR campaign in support of the day

The English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) has launched a high-profile, nationwide campaign in support of St George's Day backed by special promotional material. The hope is that butchers, selected pubs and restaurants, and consumers feel inspired to mark the day with beef dishes.

The consumer promotion is featuring in national and regional food supplements, consumer food press and women's interest magazines. where readers are encouraged to try seven new beef recipes, one for each day of the week, in the run up to St. George's Day.

In addition, with a little help from Ian 'Beefy' Botham, EBLEX has launched a nationwide search for a Modern Day St George. The move, to acknowledge exemplary citizens for their good deeds, follows research which revealed that more than half (53 per cent) of the population would like the outstanding achievements of everyday people across England to be recognised.

A series of radio interviews marked the start of the campaign last month in which 'Beefy' asked members of the public to nominate people they felt deserved recognition. To make nominations - and be in with a chance of winning VIP Hero weekends in London - listeners were asked to visit www.beefyandlamby.co.uk. The search has already produced one Modern Day St. George. James Cracknell, one of the supporters of EBLEX's 'Be A Sport' appeal', was chosen from a list of celebrities. James was nominated for his achievements in rowing, crowned by his monumental achievement in winning the gruelling trans-Atlantic race and raising over £30,000 for charity.

Cracknell was awarded his 'Order of St George' medal at the London landmark that reproduces the Globe Theatre made famous by another English hero William Shakespeare.

Kits to boost sales

Eblex has produced special point-of-sale material to help independent butchers boost sales of beef. It includes posters, banners and meat stabbers, as well as recipe booklets.

Phil Davies, trade sector manager for EBLEX, said: "We've based the kits on seven beef recipes which we're calling 'St. George's Heroes' because these are innovative new recipe ideas, each made using traditional cuts of beef."

Foodservice operators who are members of the EBLEX Quality Standard scheme will be sent kits featuring posters, a blackboard with magnetic strips to highlight specials on the menu, banners, bunting, order template documents, and a template for preparing press advertisements.

A special edition of the 'Focus on Foodservice' newsletter will be mailed out to restaurants and pubs in the lead up to the day.