WELLINGTON, NZ – A change in promotional focus has been made by Beef + Lamb New Zealand in the United Kingdom from mass media marketing of New Zealand lamb to a more targeted program aligning with individual commercial needs of exporting companies. This shift was made in response to consumer market research in the UK/Europe, said Dr. Scott Champion, Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive.

The UK is New Zealand’s largest sheepmeat market. Sheepmeat exports to the UK are worth $646 million (US$510 million). New Zealand lamb makes up 30 percent of retail lamb sales in the UK.

“Alongside investment from a number of meat companies and also with the assistance of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, we completed research which highlighted some interesting consumer insights,” he said. “Lamb is the most expensive of all proteins in UK supermarkets and research highlighted that producers and exporters need to directly support the premium positioning of the New Zealand lamb brand.”

The work Beef + Lamb New Zealand (and its predecessor company, Meat & Wool New Zealand) had done with generic marketing in the past had been very successful in keeping New Zealand lamb top of mind with UK consumers, Champion said. “That work has resulted in a 90 percent brand awareness of New Zealand lamb,” he added.

Now it is time to switch focus towards encouraging consumer preference for New Zealand lamb, operating closer to the point of purchase, Champion said. This has resulted in the major exporting companies investing their own funds alongside farmer levies into programs that are customized towards consumer and retail needs.