Blog: AHDB’s marketing adds value to the sectors

Monday, 28 March 2022

A great marketing campaign is a powerful tool, as big brands will testify. It has the ability to raise awareness, interest and loyalty towards a product – influencing our buying decisions, directly or indirectly.

Clever marketing and advertising provide opportunities to educate and inspire as well as break down barriers and misconceptions – these principals are at the core of every AHDB marketing campaign.

Over the last few years, we have fought against misinformation around meat and dairy through our award-winning 'We Eat Balanced' campaign, been instrumental in getting an additional 1,000 tonnes of beef and lamb onto consumers’ plates and an extra 11 million litres of milk into shopper’s baskets during the Covid pandemic when cafes and restaurants were forced to shut down overnight.

We also ran a hugely successful ‘Lamb Hits You in the Chops’ advertising campaign to support our lamb producers in the run up to Brexit and we’ve continued to positively challenge people’s perceptions of pork, which has driven consumer attitudes to their highest levels in three years. All of this coordinated activity is designed to get more British products into more customer shopping baskets.

Pork marketing activity

In January, we launched the latest burst of activity for our pork marketing campaign ‘Mix Up Midweek’ – with adverts hitting TV screens during prime-time viewing, with the goal of reaching 85% of UK households approximately five times in six weeks. Now in its fifth year, the objective is clear: to protect pork’s share of the plate by inspiring more people to cook with pork as a healthy, good value and versatile mealtime option during the week.

Since its launch in 2017, the campaign, which includes fantastic visuals and inspiring recipes, has helped increase consumer confidence in cooking pork medallions, as well as delivering over £37 million of incremental retail sales for the pork sector.

These campaigns are the result of careful research and testing, and every campaign is independently evaluated to ensure they deliver value for money.

Find out more about the January pork campaign

The value of marketing

Cynics may question why we deliver marketing campaigns and what value they add for our levy payers.

Right now, the challenges facing British pig producers cannot be overstated, but we cannot lose sight of the longer-term plan to protect and stimulate the category. Marketing has one business purpose – to create a customer, yet it is immensely undervalued and often the first thing to get stopped in the event of a crisis, as it is still considered an expense, rather than what it actually is – an investment.

Effective marketing will generate long-term future demand, providing supply chains with a foundation of growing, loyal customers on which to secure future prosperity. We know that our home market has always been the most lucrative and important market for pig producers and to get the most value from the carcass, we must promote these quality products to British consumers to inspire them to buy and eat more British pork.

This thinking informs a major part of our marketing strategy – devised in partnership with our levy payers – which looks at how we invest levy money now and for the years to come, so that we can continue to maximise market opportunities. And with the majority of retailers now selling 100% fresh British pork, this is the ideal time to drive volume sales.

Your views

We support levy payers with marketing and practical products, tools and services to assist pig farmers make informed business decisions, even in the most challenging of times. In the spring, we’ll be asking all eligible levy payers to help shape the future of our work and priorities.

Your views will help guide what we deliver over the next five years. So, now more than ever, it is crucial that our pig producers tell us which products, tools and services they value most, to ensure we continue to return value for your levy investment.

My colleagues and I support you and now I ask you to support us.

Register to vote

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Image of staff member Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne

Marketing Director

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