Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Don’t fear the cleaver!

Fear and embarrassment. Words you’d sometimes associate with a potentially awkward visit to the local surgery.

However, they’re apparently more likely to be associated with – or rather putting off – a visit to your traditional independent butcher.

A BBC Breakfast report this week referred to an industry survey that suggested a quarter of shoppers avoid buying meat from butchers, while one in 10 find a visit to the butcher a daunting prospect. The report posed the question, ‘could confusion over cuts be to blame for shoppers opting for supermarkets instead?’

Undoubtedly, the number of independent butchers has dropped drastically in the last 30 or so years – to the tune of around 75% from 25,300 in 1977 to 6,773 in 2009, but can it really all be down to shoppers feeling daunted at the prospect of having to ask about certain cuts? After all, if your car conks out, you wouldn’t think twice about calling a mechanic, irrespective of how simple the problem may be to fix. Buying meat from a butcher surely shouldn’t cause that level of anxiety.

Joking aside, helping to give consumers more confidence when choosing cuts to cook is an important job and one where EBLEX has been taking the lead.

We have recently launched a TV advertising campaign to remind consumers the Simple Pleasures of cooking with Quality Standard beef and lamb. Focusing on the satisfaction and accomplishment of cooking a great dish with Quality Standard Mark beef or lamb, the aim is to communicate to consumers that cooking with beef and lamb can be very simple and rewarding.

Different versions on the advert focus on different consumer life-stage groups are being supported by a video-on-demand campaign, press advertising and online activity, in the form of display advertising and social media content.

In addition, EBLEX has teamed up with Henry Herbert, one half of the Fabulous Baker Brothers, to launch a Master Butchery scheme in association with Quality Standard Mark beef and lamb. Developed to help educate keen cooks on how to get the best out of their butcher, it is also aimed at encouraging them to have a go at some easy home butchery themselves.

And if that wasn’t enough, EBLEX has also launched a free app to encourage young people to get cooking with beef and lamb and master five basic meals by the age of 25 as part of the 5by25 campaign. The app aims to give novices the skills and confidence to get in the kitchen. Users can choose the dish they want to learn by searching for a main ingredient or cooking time.

Plenty going on education-wise then, so the message is clear – if you’re unsure about what beef or lamb cuts to buy or how best to prepare them, don’t fear, help is here either via EBLEX or a visit to your local butcher.