22 December 2000

Scots aiming to push Specially Selected brand

meat industry leaders in Scotland will focus on English consumers next year, believing they will pay a healthy premium for Scottish beef in particular.

Alasdair Muir, chief executive of Scotlands red meat assurance and promotion body, Quality Meat Scotland, says recent market research in England had shown that consumers responded well to meat branded as "Specially Selected Scotch".

And even though a lot of work would be needed to put the brand image in the minds of shoppers in England, the research had shown that they would pay a premium of 10-12% for beef carrying the Specially Selected label.

Mr Muir told a Scottish NFU council meeting in Perth last week: "I believe in fishing where the fish are and England is definitely the market we need to be focusing on."

He said that 50% of Scotlands beef is sold under the Specially Selected label.

Television advertising

"The target now has to be to get, say, 20% of that to attract a premium by selling it in England."

A television advertising campaign would be needed, Mr Muir said, adding that he was due to meet MLC leaders this week in an attempt to ensure that more of Scotlands levy money was redirected from MLC back to QMS.

Eating quality would be a key factor in determining the future success of turning Specially Selected into a recognised brand outside Scotland.

Mr Muir said he hoped to initiate an eating quality research project early next year and follow that with test marketing in England next summer. &#42