WELLINGTON, NZ – Silver Fern Farms, in partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand, began a new initiative with UK supermarket chain Tesco, offering New Zealand fresh chilled lamb under its Silver Fern Farms brand.

This is a new retail brand in the UK market and a first for Tesco, which has traditionally marketed lamb under its own brand.

Being a significant opportunity for Silver Fern Farms and New Zealand farmer suppliers, careful attention was being paid to developing the new category of marketing, said Keith Cooper, Silver Fern Farms chief executive. This initiative is partially funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand farmer levies, which Cooper said allowed Silver Fern Farms to speed up the program.

“It’s always difficult for New Zealand brands to cut through in large complex international markets and Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s support has gone a long way to ensure we are able to make the sizable commitment required to support a consumer brand,” he added.

Product demonstrations and sampling, regular recipes and trolley and basket advertising will be featured alongside the branded packs of packaged and portioned lamb. An online campaign hopes to drive consumers to the Tesco and Silver Fern Farms websites and there’s the added incentive of winning a trip to New Zealand.

The investment of farmer levies into the initiative supported the organization’s approach of working on targeted programs that align with the individual commercial needs of exporting companies, said Dr. Scott Champion, Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive,.

He added that UK market research indicated the biggest gains were to be made by getting closer to the consumer and the point of purchase.

“Having achieved a 90 percent brand awareness of New Zealand lamb in the UK market through generic marketing, it’s now time to switch focus to encouraging consumer preference, closer to the point of purchase,” he concluded.