Welsh Lamb pleases Parisian palates

A promotional push by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) and French retailers has been well received, with consumers giving high marks to the taste and texture of PGI Welsh Lamb.

HCC worked with two of France’s largest supermarket chains during the autumn to organise tasting events at a number of major stores in and around Paris, to give consumers a taste of Welsh Lamb as well as handing out recipe booklets and further information on how the meat is produced.

The sales statistics show that the tastings went down well with consumers in the Paris region.

At a tasting event in Montesson, in the city’s western suburbs, 71% of customers who tried Welsh Lamb went on to make a purchase in store, whereas at a supermarket in Pelleport the figure was as high as 91%.

HCC’s export development officer Kate Patten said: “We were delighted to be able to work with a local promotion agency and two supermarkets in France on in-store promotions this year.

The response of consumers was excellent. Some French shoppers are loyal to locally-produced meat, but they commented very favourably on the tenderness and sweet taste of Welsh Lamb, which was enough for many of them to make a purchase there and then.

France is the number one export destination for Welsh Lamb. Wales exports over 13,000t of sheepmeat to France each year, in a trade worth around £58 million.

Maintaining this trade is a key objective of HCC and Welsh Government, who have supported red meat export promotions through a three-year Enhanced Export Programme.

Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, said: “The £1.5 million we’re investing is helping Hybu Cig Cymru and Welsh processors build on our successful red meat exports. Representatives are working across Europe to provide key functions to our exporters such as trade support, improving digital marketing and in-store promotions in major supermarkets.

“French consumers appreciate high-quality food and drink, so France is naturally a key market for Welsh Lamb. Supporting our food exporters will be instrumental if we are to achieve our ambition to grow our food and drinks industry by 30% by 2020.”