Canada’s largest food retailer has agreed to stock Welsh lamb in more than 300 stores and will be holding promotions in partnership with the Welsh meat-promotion body Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC).
Loblaws, a business which attracts more than 1bn customer visits a year, runs a range of food shops which operate under a variety of different names.
The intention is that branded, skin-packed protected geographical indication Welsh Lamb cutlets will be available in more than 300 stores nationwide – at Loblaws supermarkets in Ontario, Provigo stores in Quebec, and at branches of Your Independent Grocer and Zehr’s nationwide.
A fuller range of Welsh lamb products will be available at a number of Loblaws Inspire stores following the promotion.
This is also a great opportunity to raise awareness of the product in north America, given the potential opening of the US market in the future Deanna Leven, HCC
HCC said Canada has been an important target market for it and its partners in the Welsh red meat industry for some time.
“Welsh Lamb has been available in eastern Canada for a few years and we attended the Connect food show last year to explore opportunities in the west.
“But up until now its availability had been relatively small,” said Deanna Leven, HCC’s export development executive.
“This news is therefore a major step forward in the Canadian retail market.
“It’s hugely significant for the Welsh lamb industry to see these new products available in 300 stores country-wide, and for a major supermarket chain to be working with us to hold promotions in-store and on online platforms such as Instagram.
“This is also a great opportunity to raise awareness of the product in north America, given the potential opening of the US market in the future.”
Tasting events will be held at many stores across Ontario and Quebec during the autumn.
HCC first broke Welsh lamb onto the Canadian market in 2011, but recognised there was room to grow exports.
Native Canadians traditionally like lamb and there is also growing demand from the immigrant population.