Wales The True Taste Tracking Research 2003 – 2012

24 Jul

Firstly I must start this post by saying a huge thank-you to whoever sent me a brown envelope with a note that the contents should be interesting for our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers. The ‘whoever’ wishes to remain anonymous and as always that’s fine with me, I’m just grateful to have some people on my side helping me, ‘cos then I don’t feel quite so lonely!!!

The contents were a report from Beaufort Research who has been tracking the awareness of Welsh Food and Drink plus True Taste for the last 10 years.

So let me quick off with the first set of statistics that highlight that the awareness of Welsh Food has risen by over 10% since 2003 to 2012. Great news but it fails to point out that over the last six years that the awareness has remained static.

So why is that Wag?

Similarly in the early stages of the report it states that Welsh lamb is consistently the most frequently mentioned Welsh food product. Yes I agree with that too, but again it misses out the fact that its recognition is lower in every year since 2004, excepting 2011.

So why is that Wag?

So why is that HCC?

It then continues stating that the purchase of Welsh beef has remained static over the ten years, whilst Welsh lamb purchases have actually gone down.

So why is that Wag?

So why is that HCC?

My observation after reading that is that this is seriously worrying. More so when Wales has its own meat promotion organisation, Hybi Cig Cymru, which last year was funded to the tune of over £6.00 million.

So what has happened there Wag? What’s your explanation?

There is some really good news though and that is that Welsh milk is 7 times more recognised over the past ten years with sales gone up 8 times over the same period. Another Welsh success is eggs, with purchases going up 10 fold. Welsh potatoes also do well with purchases going up 8 times. So it is not all doom and gloom so far, but some serious questions need answering. But will that happen or will this report simply be shelved after another wag box has been suitably ticked? Answers on an email please or just post a comment!!

‘Flavour and wanting to buy local’ are the main reasons cited to buy Welsh produce. However it’s worrying that 20% of Welsh respondents said that they did not know of any Welsh food or drink products, can you believe that? This worsens when another question asked the same thing, this time 66% of the survey said it’s difficult to think of any brands of Welsh food. In addition 14% of the survey said that Welsh products were too expensive and poor value for money.

So why is that Wag?

Food festivals are of course in here and according to this report, 1.18 million of us visited food festivals in 2012. So let me try and put these figures into proportion taking, or guessing that this covers 50 food festivals in 2012. That’s 17 more than wag funded in 2012, so hopefully this is a fair guess and I shouldn’t be too far out. In fact I could be accurate if a festival number had been given, but that would make it too easy for people trying to make sense out of this report, wouldn’t it? If I work on Cardiff, Conwy and Abergavenny each having 50,000 visitors attending, it means that the remaining festivals have a footfall of just short of 22,000 each.  The figures quoted were obtained by interviewing a sample of people across Wales and it is meant to be a representative sample. I’m sure you, dear reader, are cleverer than me to work out what representative actually means.………………………

So what can you and I usefully get out of Beaufort’s Research?

Well to try and help further I must add two more figures into the mix. Only 13% of those asked from the rest of the UK had purchased any Welsh products, and 39% of those from the remainder of the UK either do not know of any Welsh products or have never seen any Welsh food or drink products.

So why is that Wag?

Now you can look at all the figures from different angles and I am sure that Wag will take the very limited number of positives and say what a wonderful job they have done, but there’s nothing new there then. HCC certainly does not come out of this report well, but is not mentioned by name anywhere. Does this show the lack of success of the True Taste as a brand? I’m not totally sure as, to be fair, I doubt if the Great Taste brand would come out any better over the same sample.

What is obvious though is that branding is all important, although I’m not aware of any initiatives to improve branding, which is certainly expensive. But what about the True Taste brand I hear my dear reader cry! Well I’m sorry, in my view, an all encompassing brand will never work. Ian and I have said this for years, because people want to buy Welsh Brew Tea not True Taste Welsh Brew Tea so any encompassing brand will never get the support of all food producers, it will never happen.

Each food producer will promote their own brand. Sorry to sound once again like a stuck record, but as I go around food festivals and markets, the numbers of stall that do not have signage telling people who they are, never mind signage that matches their business cards and letter headings and flyers – I find it really annoying. If producers hunt around a little, talk to other traders, they can buy these things reasonably cheaply. Yes I know it’s difficult and yet another job to do, but it’s important.

I’ve only highlighted a few discrepancies but enough to keep your interest or rage your fury, either way please comment


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  1. trader

    July 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    How much did this survey cost?
    It tells nothing that is going to be of practical use and as always it’s wag ticking more of their boxes and us at the bottom getting no help at all.
    As you say another survey and another waste of OUR money.
    Kath I don’t know what else you can do but you should get a medal for supporting us against wag and to the cost of your business.
    Pity wag can’t listen to you and Ian.
    Thanks for your work on here. I’ve never known so much about what is happening in wag food and what wag seem to bury and hide from us.
    Wag sure don’t bother telling us and you have to fight to find out much of this stuff and you’re a journalist with a food focus. Weird it really is

  2. Producer

    July 25, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I would love to attend a food festival with an attendance of 22000! If you take into account some of the smaller festivals that are lucky to get 2000 through the gate, there must be some very busy festivals somewhere, just not the ones I attend…
    So if memory serves me, HCC has been around for much the same time as this survey – since they took over the promotion, recognition seems to have gone downhill across the board for meat, I hope someone will get at least a sideways look from those that pay the grant, and have to answer some questions, Nope, did not think so,,,,

  3. trader 3

    July 26, 2013 at 11:54 am

    You certainly do unearth some interesting stories

    What did wag pay for this?
    Why did wag pay for this?
    Do wag get a refund for untrue information?
    This is a scandal but another for wag to sweep under their lumpy bumpy carpet

  4. producer

    July 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Cannot believe what I’ve read. This company have never been to the same festivals I’ve gone to and I do a lot over the year.
    2,000 people as already commented by someone is rare. Really rare to the point of being ridiculous. Do any wag people visits any food festivals apart from Cardiff and Abergavenny?
    Producers aren’t stupid enough to believe this report. But it seems wag might be. What did this report cost?
    It’s one of many pointless survey/reports whatever they are called. It’s a total waste of time and money.
    Will the new man wake-up wag?

  5. cup cake

    July 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I must stop reading and do some work. Just can’t believe this report
    It’s totally stupid.
    Those food festival figures are a joke, but only if you’re not trying to earn a living in food
    wag you have a lot to answer for on this report and thanks for the mystery person that sent it to you. See you have plenty of friends out there.

  6. producer

    August 1, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Brown envelopes worry me, but for you they bring some good and interesting news.
    Wish you had more moles on the other side as you wouldn’t have to spend as much time and effort trying to get answers and information.
    Hope you get another brown envelope soon because you have lots of questions unanswered. Not sure where you get your patience from, but dealing with this shower you sure need it.
    thanks so much for your help for producers/traders/butchers/farmers.

  7. trader TWO

    August 2, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Yet another costly survey that will achieve nothing. That’s always the case. Achieve nothing but wag can tick their boxes, that’s all that matters to them.
    We knew early this year TT wasn’t going to run, we’re not that stupid. If we can’t get entry forms, we can then work out it’s not going ahead.
    So why couldn’t wag have issued their statement in January or February? We have to wait until July, it’s totally pathetic and insulting. It proves wag have no consideration for the producers they are paid to look after. They just look after themselves and leave us to trade on our wits, as ever on this unlevel welsh food playing field.