Sheep lamb and beef cow grazing-© FLPA/Rex/Shutterstock

More than £12m in extra sales were generated by a TV advertising campaign to promote “mini-roasts” of British beef and lamb.

Screened last November, the campaign directly delivered £526,000 in additional mini-roast sales, according to a detailed analysis by AHDB Beef & Lamb.

Sales were up for beef and lamb, with the adverts reaching 22m households across Britain, said the farmer-funded levy organisation.

An additional “halo effect” – namely people seeing the adverts and purchasing other beef or lamb joints – added up to £11m, or £12.7m for the whole red meat roasting category.

See also: Industry unity ‘vital’ on beef and lamb promotion

The campaign provided the best results for beef with 72% of the halo effect, 14% for lamb and 14% for pork, according to AHDB figures.

Mini-roasts are small joints of meat which can be placed in the oven and are ready to eat after 30 minutes. They are promoted as a quick and easy way to cook a roast dinner.

We do a lot of new product development work aimed at taking beef and lamb cuts and offering practical meal solutions for modern families, who demand convenience, especially during the working week Mike Whittemore, AHDB

Product development work by AHDB Beef & Lamb has seen supermarkets introduce 22 new lines in the category over the past year.

Added value

The goal is to add value to beef and lamb carcasses while tackling faltering roast sales by encouraging a shift in consumer buying habits.

This, in turn, aims to ensure beef and lamb products remain staples of the weekly shop, demonstrating their versatility and taste.

Mini-roasts have been core to AHDB Beef & Lamb market development over the past three years, with promotional activity to make the most of product availability each autumn.

The aim is to encourage consumers to select a mini-roast for a convenient mid-week meal. It is a strategy which appears to be working.

Switch from poultry to red meat

AHDB head of trade and product development Mike Whittemore said more people were switching from chicken to buy the beef and lamb products.

The number of people saying the mini-roast offered a quicker, easier way to roast than more traditional products was rising, he added.

“We do a lot of new product development work aimed at taking beef and lamb cuts and offering practical meal solutions for modern families, who demand convenience, especially during the working week.

We then work with the processors and retailers to highlight the cuts, recipe ideas and promotion potential, ultimately with the aim of adding value to the carcass and ensuring the new product developed is available for consumers to buy in store.

At £31m, the mini-roast market is relatively small. But AHDB Beef & Lamb figures suggest it has grown 4.1% over the past 52 weeks.

The levy board plans to promote mini-roasts again this year, and will continue working with processors and retailers to support another campaign this autumn.

Older shopper

Sector strategy director Laura Ryan said the campaign was most successful with older shoppers.

On the back of this finding, AHDB Beef & Lamb would tweak its approach to include further engagement with multiple retailers and their convenience ranges, she added.

“While we are delighted with the results, it is important to remember this is one element of a broad marketing strategy that covers a very wide range of activity.”

In September this year another campaign to promote British food and farming will begin.

The 12-week-long campaign is being co-ordinated by the NFU, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Red Tractor and Love British Food organisations.

Promotional activity will include Red Tractor Week, British Food Fortnight (17 September to 2 October) and British Sausage Week in November.