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Festival of Scotch Lamb on screen and online

Lamb is set to be the flavour of the month this Autumn with the launch of the annual Festival of Scotch Lamb.

The festival of Scotch Lamb is a £180,000 campaign aimed at getting Scots to rediscover the taste and versatility of Scotch Lamb during autumn, when it is at its most succulent.

We are bringing that message to TV screens for the first time ever, and we’ll also using innovative online advertising on some of the most popular food sites.

The campaign will also feature high-profile advertising and instore promotions in both independent retailers and supermarkets.

This year Quality Meat Scotland is concentrating on a single large marketing push in autumn, aimed getting people to rediscover lamb and keep eating it through the season.

Head of Marketing, Laurent Vernet, said: “With the decline in levy we have to be more sophisticated in our targeting of our advertising to make sure we are getting the best value for every penny we spend.

“We’re embracing new online technologies and taking Lamb onto Scottish television for the first time since Geoffrey Palmer was telling people to ‘slam in the lamb’ in the 1980s.”

Independent research from TNS covering the period of the last year’s Festival of Scotch Lamb campaign shows that more people were choosing lamb from Scotland over other options.

The figures showed that retail volume sales of Scottish origin lamb over the 12 weeks to 2 November 2008 increased by 8.7% year on year to 374 tonnes, compared to overall volume lamb sales in Scotland over the same period which dropped by 4.5%.

Mr Vernet: “In a market that was declining overall, the volume of lamb from Scotland sold in Scotland actually increased, giving the positive sign that people are really looking local when it comes to their red meat.”

Scottish origin lamb is also bucking the trend for market penetration, penetration of lamb from all origins has dropped 7% in the 12 weeks ending 5 October 2008, whereas Scottish origin lamb sales in Scotland have held up. Throughout Great Britain, penetration for lamb from Scotland has increased by a quarter.

He added: “We still only eat half as much lamb as our neighbours in England and Wales and there are still many people that were put off lamb in their childhood and have never tasted it again, so we’re calling out to everyone in Scotland to go out and ask for this month’s hot product, Scotch Lamb.”

Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead announced his support for the campaign.

He said: “I’m delighted to be backing this year’s Festival of Scotch Lamb. It’s another welcome opportunity to showcase Scotland’s delicious high-quality produce and for the public to throw their weight behind our local producers and farmers.

“Scotch Lamb is often at its most succulent at this time of year and there’s no shortage of delicious new recipes to sample – be it at the dinner table or over a sizzling barbeque – so it’s no surprise that sales of prime lamb are increasing.

“2009 has already been a hugely significant year for demonstrating Scotland’s credentials as a Land of Food and Drink. On the whole these are good times for our farmers, livestock prices are up, they are an integral part of Scotland’s unique economic and social fabric, and the industry’s produce is world-class.

“Demand for Scottish produce continues to soar across Great Britain while export sales are also up. The new measures in our national food and drink policy will help maintain that momentum and drive us towards our target of growing the value of the food and drink sector by a third to £10 billion by 2017.”