Ed Bedington
The campaign to get French consumers eating Scotch lamb has been given a welcome boost.
Three major supermarket chains in the country have now expressed an interest in selling Scottish branded lamb, said Alasdair Muir, MD of Quality Meat Scotland.
Speaking at a meeting of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers last week, he said that Agneau d'Ecosse retail packs had been identified as a major opportunity by three retailers in the north of France, including one of the big chains, Auchan, following a successful pilot project.
Muir said the pilot was conducted under the brand of Fleur d'Ecosse on a regional basis, and as a result both brands would now be rolled out further. He said: "This is a major step forward in our marketing of Scotch lamb. The distinct note of interest by retailers with stores in the north of France comes on the heels of news that Fleur d'Ecosse was well received in the south during December and looks set to be tried elsewhere later in the year."
Muir added the interest in Scotch lamb stemmed from a strong Scottish presence at both SIAL, in October last year, and SIA in Paris in February.
Both Agneau d'Ecosse and Fleur d'Ecosse feature the PGI logo, an important status symbol for French consumers, who in the wake of BSE and other food scares were asking more questions about what they eat, he said.
"The lamb is clearly branded as Scotch, which makes its origins transparent to French consumers. The majority of lamb exported to France has been marketed just as lamb. This is the first time we've used branding."