Red meat sales may be boosted by innovative labels

By Matt Atherton

- Last updated on GMT

Red meat sales could be boosted by including more secondary labelling (Flickr/Ernesto Andrade)
Red meat sales could be boosted by including more secondary labelling (Flickr/Ernesto Andrade)

Related tags Red meat Meat

Food manufacturers could boost sales by including more information about nutrition and recipes on red meat packaging labels, claims the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Secondary labelling – smaller, less prominent labels that include information on how to cook specific meats and inventive recipes – boosted customers’ incentive to buy products again, according to AHDB research on the importance of labelling. The information was most valued by shoppers that had lost confidence in their cooking ability, particularly among younger consumers, said AHDB.

AHDB Beef & Lamb head of trade and product development Mike Whittemore said: “Over the last year, we have seen a shift in retailers’ approach, with many cutting the information they make available at point of purchase.

‘Retain its value and appeal’

“It was, therefore, interesting to see that recipe and cooking information does retain its value and appeal for consumers who are not as confident as they once were in their cooking abilities.”

Using simple and clear cooking instructions, meal inspiration ideas and full recipes educated shoppers the most, the research found. Sales boosts were linked to educating and inspiring shoppers, AHDB claimed.

Using secondary labelling in the bottom right-hand corner of the packaging yielded the most benefits, it said.

Modified atmospheric packaging – packaging with a closely controlled gas blend and a film lid – was the consumers’ favourite type of packaging for red meat, it added.

Customers aged between 18 and 34 were most influenced by secondary labelling, the research showed. AHDB said manufacturers should use labels to introduce these customers to inventive, tasty ideas to suit their changing lifestyles.

‘Keep red meat at the centre of the plate’

Whittemore said: “To keep red meat the centre of the plate, these consumers need to have the skills and knowledge to cook these cuts.

“They also need to know how they can be used in dishes that fit into their lifestyles – more convenient and versatile – and point-of-sale material can provide that knowledge.”

Meanwhile, AHDB warned consumers that they could be misled​ on the origin of some pork products, including bacon. It claimed some supermarkets might be selling pork from countries where animal welfare standards were lower.

AHDB red meat labelling research – at a glance

  • Secondary labelling was a big influence on purchasing decisions of red meat
  • 18 to 34-year-olds were most influenced
  • Optimum position for secondary labels was in bottom right-hand corner

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