EBLEX unveils Discover Lamb and The Carvery ranges

27 September 2013

‘Discover Lamb’ and ‘The Carvery’ are the latest product development initiatives to be unveiled by the EBLEX trade marketing team.

EBLEX unveils Discover Lamb and The Carvery rangesLaunched under the umbrella themes - ‘Cook-In’ for the retail sector and ‘Eat Out’ for the foodservice sector - ‘The Carvery’ and ‘Discover Lamb’ are amongst five new ranges introduced this year to bring new, added value Quality Standard Mark products to market. The other three ranges are: Steak Bar, Chop House and Gourmet Burger.

As well as improving carcase utilisation, reducing wastage and enhancing profit potential throughout the supply chain, the new cuts offer better value for money and will deliver a more consistent product in terms of both taste and quality to the end consumer.

The Carvery: Retail

The new range of Cook-In carvery cuts was developed to address a decline in consumption of traditional roasting joints in the retail market. EBLEX believes the decline can be attributed to a change in eating habits brought about by a number of factors, such as increased time and financial pressures as well as an increase in the number of smaller households.

Yet the way in which many retailers and caterers present and market roasting joints has not changed in line with consumer demand. Recognising this, EBLEX set about developing an exciting new range of carvery products featuring smaller roasts which are ideal for the ‘dining for two’ market.

Mike Whittemore, head of trade marketing for EBLEX, said: "Families are increasingly looking for quick and cost effective meal solutions, and traditional roasting joints aren’t providing this. So we’ve been researching the market, assessing retailer current offerings and suggesting ways in which they could improve their ranges.

"We’ve also been busy developing a range of more cost effective cuts that deliver improved quality and consistency for the consumer, while also stimulating sales in the category. Consumers will require cooking advice and information about some of the more unusual cuts, but with the right in store (on-pack and POS) support, we believe the new range will help bring shoppers back into the roasting category.”

To that end, EBLEX has produced ‘Roastomatic’ a handy guide to the full range of beef and lamb roasting cuts in the Carvery range. Containing advice on where the cuts come from, cooking times and how to carve them, as well as serving ideas, hints and tips, the Roastomatic Guide covers: beef Topside, Silverside, Thick Flank, Rump, Sirloin, Fore Rib, and Brisket and lamb Leg, Loin, Shoulder and Breast.

Beef Topside

Beef topside, which is one of the most widely available roasting joints in multiple retail outlets, has been the focal point of a recent gap analysis project carried out by EBLEX.

The research looked at premium and standard tier beef topside roasting joints in eight major multiple retail groups, and revealed some disappointing results. Mike said: "Some of the cuts we looked at were poorly butchered and presented, with insufficient levels of fat covering, too much gristle left in and an untidy appearance.

"This applied mainly to joints in the standard ranges across all of the retailers. Interestingly, only five retailers were offering premium cuts and only one retailer carried a ‘premium plus’ topside roasting joint. Four retailers had organic options.”

EBLEX plans to share the detailed findings from its Topside Roasts research project with each retailer in turn. Mike said: "Once we’ve finalised our study we’ll speak to each retailer on an individual basis to show them our findings and offer recommendations. We’d like to see an increase in uptake of the ‘Premium Topside Roast’, a highly trimmed cut derived from one muscle, which will offer a superior and more consistent roasting joint.”

The Carvery: Foodservice

In foodservice, the range will satisfy the growing trend for sharing platters and also enable caterers to feature roasts on the menu more often, regardless of whether the establishment has a traditional carvery. Ultimately this will help to stimulate demand for beef and lamb roasting cuts and improve profits while reducing wastage.

Michelin starred chef and Quality Standard Mark (QSM) ambassador, Nigel Haworth, said: "The new range has really opened my eyes to new concept dining in licensed pubs and quality restaurants and hotels. The products are easy to cook and can be served in a number of ways, from carvery board presentations to large serving bowls and platters which are great for parties or family meal occasions. The products are also so versatile that they will work with different marinades, glazes and herbs.”

Nigel’s executive head chef, Lisa Allen, added: "The new range is innovative and forward thinking – it’s what the foodservice sector has been looking for.  We’ve trialled a number of the new cuts and I’ve had great feedback from customers both young and old. The roasting cuts are ideal for couples and small parties and provide a great alternative to steaks.”

Discover Lamb

When it comes to lamb, research has shown that consumers have a number of concerns, including product inconsistency, fattiness and plate waste. Many feel that it represents poor value for money and some consumers won’t buy lamb as they simply don’t know how to cook it.

Recognising this, EBLEX introduced a three year ‘Lamb Plan’ designed to get lamb back on the menu, both in and out of the home. Launched in September 2012, the ‘Discover Lamb’ campaign aims to reposition lamb as an affordable meat that families can enjoy throughout the week. Tailored for each sector, the activity focuses on three key areas: building a market for lamb mince (currently very small compared with beef mince); developing a market for forequarter lamb cuts and enhancing the market for prime lamb cuts.

Mike said: "While price is a driver for many consumers, they are also motivated by their perception of a product and their knowledge of what to do with it. Even though lamb is much-loved for its flavour, it is widely regarded by consumers as being fatty and wasteful. At a time when consumers are still feeling the pinch, they want to be reassured that their money isn’t going towards a product that doesn’t fully satisfy them.

"As a direct response, we launched an industry-wide campaign to help stimulate consumer demand for lamb, which will remind people just how good it can be. By offering consumers better value and greater consistency and educating them and providing inspiration, we can stimulate increased demand and revive the fortunes of the sector.”

In both the retail and foodservice sectors, the focus is on introducing better value cuts with greater consistency, such as daubes and Victoria roasts from the shoulder and noisette joints from the leg.

A number of kitchen-ready cuts which have benefited from improved butchery techniques and presentation were developed for the retail sector. Designed to be easy-to-cook in the home and to provide good value for money, they have been supported with recipe ideas and cooking tips, in-store promotions and consumer PR activity.

In foodservice, the focus is also on cuts from the shoulder, which often tend to be overlooked by chefs as they require a little more time to prepare and cook, as well as alternative cuts from the loin, leg and breast.

In conclusion, Mike said: "The beauty of our product development initiatives is that they can be completely tailored for each individual business. The Carvery and Discover Lamb ranges include a variety of cuts to help retailers and foodservice operators widen their product portfolio and offer customers better value for money and improved eating quality. The cuts are intended to complement existing ranges and enable retailers and caterers to maximise their own profit potential.

"Eating quality was a key factor in determining which cuts were chosen for the ranges and those that made the grade only did so following extensive research carried out amongst industry and more importantly, with consumers.

Quality Standard Scheme

"As well as our product development work this year, we’ve also been reminding industry of the assurances that come with sourcing beef and lamb through our Quality Standard Mark (QSM) Scheme. With traceability a particularly important issue at the moment, customers will increasingly be looking for assurance and origin indicators on packaging.”

The QSM for beef and lamb provides one of the highest levels of independently inspected quality assurance for meat in the UK. The standards contain combined guarantees of food safety, animal welfare, care for the environment and enhanced eating quality.

Any business which is sourcing Quality Standard Mark beef or lamb and registered to the scheme (which is free of charge) can use the scheme logos on packaging, website or marketing literature to offer customers the reassurance that the meat has been sourced from a totally assured, independently inspected supply chain.”

To find out more about the new concepts or the Quality Standard Mark Scheme, call the EBLEX Hotline: 0845 491 8787 or visit www.eblextrade.co.uk.

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