Optimise red meat labels to drive sales: AHDB

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Producers and retailers need to optimise red meat labels to drive sales, urged AHDB. Image: Getty, 97
Producers and retailers need to optimise red meat labels to drive sales, urged AHDB. Image: Getty, 97

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Food businesses can drive red meat sales with optimised labels that provide inspiration, health messaging and reassurance on its impact to the environment and farming, according to new research from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Working in collaboration with Basis Research, AHDB looked into how producers and retailers can optimise packaging and labelling to improve shopper purchase intent for red meat and improve long-term perceptions of the industry.

The research identified three main categories of consumer preferences that should be included on pack, no matter the cut or type of protein.

Inspiration was the biggest driver of purchase intent, with shoppers drawn to images of ‘tasty, well-presented dishes’. In the case of pork medallions, pork loins and beef steaks, more than half of shoppers selected labels with ‘foodie’ imagery as their favourite (64%, 57% and 56% respectively).

Health and provenance

Following inspiration was health and provenance information, with consumers particularly fond of messaging around fat, vitamin and mineral content. Almost three quarters (73%) of consumers interested in health said ‘lean and low in fat’ messaging would encourage them to make a purchase.

Highlighting British origin, farming methods such as grass-fed or free-range as well as any assurance schemes were also favoured. However, just 35% said that messages such as ‘regeneratively farmed’ would push them to buy.

Grace Randall, retail and consumer insight manager at AHDB, said: “It’s so important that retailers and producers understand the needs, desires and drives of their consumers.

Confidence in British meat

“It’s clear from this research that shoppers want to feel confident in the quality of their meat, which comes from taste, health benefits and production methods. By helping them to feel informed and inspired we can help drive their red meat purchases.

“AHDB want to showcase the optimised label concepts created in this study and we encourage producers and retailers within the industry to initiate change and to reach out to AHDB for further support.”

Research into consumer labelling preference followed a period of increase spend on red meat over the past few years, despite a decline in volume year-on-year that peaked in 2020. Previous analysis in the area found there was a need to re-engage shoppers with the red meat category, both in-store and online.

Meanwhile, British consumers are still stocking up on red meat​ despite economic pressures, with enjoyment a key driver behind continued sales, according to Kantar.

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