The campaign will see targeted promotional activity in two bursts, the first starting in summer and the second in September, to coincide with peak supply of British lamb.
It will focus on lamb’s unique flavour and versatility, and aims to stem the steady decline in lamb sales and boost consumer attitudes towards the meat across a number of different target audiences.
AHDB will be liaising closely with retailers, foodservice outlets and industry stakeholders to ensure a coordinated approach to support promotion of the sheep sector in the coming months.
The campaign will use large format outdoor posters, press adverts and social media channels to hit different target audiences. AHDB will also be running an additional campaign specifically for levy-payers. This will include physical and digital materials such as social media guides and promotional displays to help provide farmers with further support and guidance in marketing their produce at key times in the production year.
In 2018/19, AHDB Beef & Lamb invested in £9.762m of its income on promotion and PR support for beef and lamb at home and abroad, roughly 61% of its income.
Will Jackson, AHDB Beef & Lamb sector strategy director, said: “AHDB has been working for some months to see how best we can support the sheep sector in the face of uncertainty. Though outcomes are still unclear, we’re focusing our marketing efforts on sheep for the forthcoming seasons to ensure lamb is at the forefront of consumers’ minds – coinciding with the availability of autumn lamb for shoppers. This will mean efforts being concentrated on delivering a lamb advertising and promotional campaign in summer and September 2019.
“Day-to-day work will continue in other respects to support both beef and lamb with meat, health and environment being key parts of the ongoing strategy. AHDB R&D, knowledge transfer, export and communications work will continue as normal for beef.
“We have discussed this lamb focus with the NFU and it is fully supportive of the board’s move.”
The campaign has been welcomed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). Richard Findlay, livestock board chairman, said: “We’re fully supportive of the move of marketing to concentrate on lamb, helping to retain and grow our domestic market during a period of uncertainty. Timing the campaign in September means consumers can enjoy British lamb in the height of our season and it’s a great opportunity to drive sales.”