Need to target younger audience for lamb, says HCC
Published:  20 November, 2014

In order to increase the consumption of lamb, a younger audience needs to be targeted and more convenient products need to be developed, according to Welsh meat body Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC).

At the recent HCC annual conference in Llanelli, Sue Franklin, UK market development executive, told delegates that the organisation had conducted in-depth research on consumer behaviour with market research company Kantar Worldpanel. She said the results would be used for new product development (NPD) to ensure a positive future for Welsh lamb.

The study revealed there was currently ‘a need for speed’ and simplicity, since there had been a year-on-year drop of 14% in consumption of lamb meals that take more than 30 minutes to prepare. Furthermore, consumers were moving towards ‘low-involvement’, easy-to-prepare meals, which need only ‘two preparation methods’ to make.

The research showed that younger demographics were shunning lamb, due to it being perceived as time-consuming to prepare, while a lack of knowledge and skills turned younger consumers off it, as did higher prices compared to other proteins. Franklin said: “Younger consumers aren’t eating lamb.”

The study also indicated that consumers didn’t mind paying for added convenience. Franklin gave the example of a popular added-value pork product – ‘Seasoned Pulled Pork Shoulder’ by Sainsbury’s, which costs £3.32 per individual meal occasion, more expensive than a primary pork joint, which costs £2.86 per individual meal occasion.

Lamb, Franklin added, wasn’t seen as an ‘ingredient’ enough – for example, as mince for a chilli – but was viewed more as a large joint of meat for big occasions.

HCC is therefore looking at NPD opportunities involving added value and convenience, while aiming to increase education and skills to consumers on cooking lamb. It also wants to communicate how lamb can be used as an ‘ingredient’ in simple dishes.