Pork shoulder hanging in a slaughterhouseAHDB's advertising initiative saw demand for pork shoulder increase © Tim Scrivener

An advertising campaign showing shoppers the deliciousness of pork earned the pigmeat industry £13m.

The second wave of AHDB’s pulled-pork initiative boosted sales, even without counting price promotions, and drew in new consumers, according to Kantar analysis.

New shoppers

Figures show 30% of the extra money came from people who had never bought a pork, beef or lamb roasting joint before, while 56% came from those who usually only bought pork once or twice a year.

See also: Pig producers’ share of retail price hits 10-month high 

Two-thirds of the shoppers were under 55 – the age group the TV, digital and in-store campaign was targeting.

Underused cuts

More specifically, the ads raised demand for pork shoulder, an underused cut, which helped pull up the value of retail sales.

More than 92% of retailers’ fresh pork shoulder and pulled-pork producers were British, Kantar found.

AHDB Pork chairman Meryl Ward said the campaign had raised the profile of pork.

“In pulled pork we have a hero dish, which has grown in popularity and is something consumers are obviously enjoying cooking,” she said.

“It’s important we keep this momentum up so I’m excited to see what the next campaign looks like.”

AHDB’s initiative ran in two bursts earlier this year, between 10 February and 8 March, and 6 April and 8 May.

The adverts urged the public to try pulled pork at home, cooking it themselves or buying a prepared product.

Sales lift

The first phase, in 2015, was also successful, leading to a 19.2% year-on-year lift in shoulder sales during the campaign period.

Mapping improved retail sales to farmgate returns is difficult, but marketing efforts have helped to soften the effects of a slide in overall spending.

By volume, supermarkets sold 1% less pork year-on-year in the 12 weeks to 14 August.

But shoulder joints showed a 3% rise in sales, while leg joints were up 10%.

Rising values

Pig prices have been rising since they hit a trough in the spring, supported by tightening supplies and the sterling’s post-referendum weakness.

The EU-spec standard pig price (SPP) crept up 0.49p/kg to 140.38p/kg in the week ending 17 September.

This was 10p/kg higher on the year and the first time the SPP had broken 140p/kg in 20 months.

Slaughterings were back 2% on the week and 8% on the year, at 167,600 head.