We Eat Balanced drives positive rethink of red meat and dairy for consumers

Friday, 26 March 2021

Consumers are rethinking their attitudes towards red meat and dairy produced in Britain as the result of our ground-breaking We Eat Balanced campaign launched earlier this year.

The £1.5M campaign which ran across TV, social media and print in January and February was a first for British farming.  Aimed at a target audience of meat and dairy ‘waverers’, it aimed to remind and reassure consumers of the role red meat and dairy can play in a balanced diet, and the sustainability of livestock production in Britain.

It focused on three key messages – red meat and dairy as a source of Vitamin B12, Britain’s world class production standards and that red meat and dairy from Britain is amongst the most sustainable in the world.

Results showed that post campaign:

  • Six per cent more consumers in the target audience felt red meat could form part of a healthy, balanced diet
  • Nine per cent more consumers also revealed they feel the same about dairy
  • The target audience recorded an eight per cent increase in seeing dairy as produced in both a natural and a sustainable way
  • There is also a four per cent increase in seeing red meat as providing a range of vitamins and minerals

“We know that food and farming from Britain has a unique story to tell , so to achieve these results is a great outcome for all concerned. Many thanks to the farmers, processors, retailers, butchers and chefs who got behind the campaign. No one, to our knowledge, has ever delivered a campaign featuring these messages at this scale,” said Christine Watts, AHDB’ Chief Officer for Marketing and Exports.

“At a time when people are thinking about new year diets and considering cutting out or cutting back on certain foods, it shows the impact of addressing the misinformation which is regularly served up to consumers about the role of red meat and dairy can play in the diet, and the environmental sustainability of our livestock production.

“Consumers want reassurance about their food choices and are looking for permission to continue eating the foods they enjoy as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

“Our campaign results also supports other AHDB findings that consumers want to hear more from farmers and how they produce our food. We’ll be taking this forward in the next stage of our industry reputation campaign which will be launched later this year.”

The campaign also showed a shift in consumer attitudes around the sustainability of red meat produced in Britain versus imported product.  When prompted, there was a 9% positive shift in target audience consumers believing that home-produced red meat was produced in a more sustainable way compared to red meat from overseas.

Over the course of seven weeks, We Eat Balanced generated 80 million impressions on social media, reaching ten million consumers.  It also reached six million people in print and 2.5 million through video on demand.

The advertising was rolled out against a background of continuing strong sales of meat and dairy during January.  Retail volumes for total red meat were up 15.1 per cent in the 4 w/e 24 January 2021 according to Kantar and dairy also showed a strong performance, up 11.8 per cent in volume compared with last January.