The Welsh Lamb Debate Continues

30 Oct

On 24th October I posted – Welsh Lamb How Much Is Produced & How much Is Exported? I’ve been surprised that this post has generated a fair amount of discussion and surprisingly from those producers outside the meat sector.

So I want to share with you some thoughts from one of our respected Best Of Welsh and Border producers, (BOW), who is also not involved in Welsh meat, but he did have some interesting points to air and share. So let’s say that Wales has a population of 3.1m people, which could easily be about 1m families.  In 2012, in a survey of Welsh foods, spontaneous awareness of Welsh Lamb was 40%, unprompted, which was greater than Welsh cheese/butter/milk/beef and vegetables. So that shows that the consumer knows about Welsh lamb. My post on the 24th stated that 3,200 tonnes of Welsh Lamb was consumed in Wales then that’s about near, or makes little difference, of 3kg per family, per year. This in anybody’s world is surely nothing less than staggering, just 3kg, per family, per year. So let’s break that down to one leg of lamb and a couple of dozen chops per family, per year. Not even a Sunday roast more than twice a year across the whole of Wales.

But having worked that out, what about our visitors? We can’t forget them as they must surely consume some of the 3200 tonnes I quoted initially.

Thinking this through even further, my BOW producer and I are coming up with a picture, although neither of us are marketing experts, but then we’re not stupid either. Isn’t this what analysts call a lack of consumer penetration? This means that although people ‘know’ about a food product and so they’re aware of it, but they’re not purchasing it. It could be as low as 10% of the population buy Welsh lamb regularly, which could mean a Sunday roast once a month for just 300,000 families in Wales. So the question which is raises its ugly head, is why isn’t more of the Welsh population buying and eating Welsh lamb? I wonder if HCC no the answer and/or what they are doing about it?

Maybe this is too simplistic. Perhaps this is the actual size of the market, but from where I am, not many people seem concerned and I would like to know why not?

Isn’t it up to the industry to look at the reasons why penetration is so low and do something about that? Awareness is fine, I know about Ferraris but I am never, ever, going to buy one. So what does awareness mean if someone then cannot convert that into sales?

We’d love to see some demographics on the market, that would be useful, as would a split between wholesale and retail would be interesting. Who buys what, where, when, how much, who is the consumer, are they young/old/retired/professionals/etc.? We’ve lots of questions but need answers……………………

Have HCC, MINTEL or other data on the red meat market on which they have based their strategy?

Have HCC done lots of work and decided that selling Welsh lamb in Wales just isn’t worth the effort once they’ve understood the potential market opportunity? Is that the case? Or is it down to the simple fact that more money can be made exporting Welsh lamb and so the home market has been kicked into touch and HCC will just pay lip service to us?

Can I just thank the BOW producer for taking the time to put thoughts and views in writing for me. It’s much appreciated, especially as this is not your sector, so although you’ve raised many interesting question, there is no self-interest here.






Tags: , , , , , , ,

  1. butcher

    October 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Reality check needed which is one of your regular phrases and never more needed than here.

  2. Producer

    October 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    So resturants dont sell Welsh lamb? The guy who sells lamb burgers in a roadside snack stop probably accounts for half the amount of 3k per person! The figures are rubbish and plucked out of thin air.
    Expensive thin air though!

  3. meat man

    November 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    If it’s too difficult for Welsh people to access easily Welsh meat then aren’t hcc doing a poor job?
    Oh no says mr minister we are exporting so much Welsh meat we all deserve a pat on the back.
    How much New Zealand lamb is coming into Wales? I doubt you’ll ever find out a true figure.
    If a shake up was ever needed it is in these two areas.