Supermarkets back mini roast category
Published:  29 April, 2016

Product development work by industry levy board AHDB Beef & Lamb has seen supermarkets introduce 22 new lines into the mini-roast category in the last year. 

AHDB has been working for the past three years to promote mini-roasts as a convenient midweek meal option. The aim is to add value to the carcase while tackling faltering roast sales by encouraging a shift in consumer shopping habits.

An analyst of the most recent mini-roast television advertisements, which ran last November, showed that the short-term impact of the marketing campaign directly delivered £526,000 worth of mini-roast sales, while the ‘halo effect’ – which was mainly people seeing the advertisements and purchasing other beef or lamb joints – added an additional £11 million.

Sales have increased for both beef and lamb, with the adverts reaching 22 million homes across the nation.

“Our analysis showed people switching from chicken to buy the beef and lamb products with a rise in the number of people saying the mini-roast offered a quicker, easier way to roast than more traditional products,” said Mike Whittemore, head of trade and product development for AHDB.

“We do a lot of new product development work aimed at taking beef and lamb cuts and offering practical meal solutions for modern families, who demand convenience, especially during the working week. We then work with the processors and retailer to highlight the cuts, recipe ideas and promotion potential, ultimately with the aim of adding value to the carcase and ensuring the new product developed is available for consumers to buy in store.

“This is long-term work but these latest results show the approach is working and resonating with shoppers.”

The mini-roast campaign raises awareness of cuts that will improve carcase balance. Although the size of the market remains relatively small at £31 million, it has grown by 4.1% over the last 52 weeks.

Category development through working with the beef and lamb supply chains has played an important role, with 22 new mini-roast products brought to the market by multiple retail sectors over the campaign period.

“The campaign is directly attributable to an increase in mini-roast sales of £526,000, with a halo effect in the wider roasting category of £12.7m,” commented sector strategy director for AHDB Beef & Lamb, Laura Ryan.

“The campaign provided the best results for beef with 72% of the halo effect, and 14% lamb and 14% pork.

“The campaign was most successful with older shoppers, so for this year we will review our approach including further engagement with multiple retailers and their convenience ranges. While we are delighted with the results, it is important to remember this is one element of a broad marketing strategy that covers a very wide range of activity.”

The levy board plans to support the mini-roast campaign again this year, and continue to work with processors and retailers alike to support the campaign when it returns in the autumn.