Demand for first grade British ox tongues has grown as second grade South American and African product has been getting short. Shipments from Zimbabwe, for example, have been disrupted by the ongoing political crisis. As a result, buyers of raw tongues, such as butchers and caterers, have been returning to traditional sources in the UK, and trading up in the process. "Availability of first grade material is tight at present, and promotions have had to be put on hold for now," a trader told The Grocer. But consumer demand for tongue has returned. Significant growth has also been seen in listings of tongue at deli counters. "Traditional, mature consumers are re-entering the market," said Rea Valley sales and marketing manager Martin Burdekin, speaking at the opening of the firm's new chilled distribution centre, which coincides with the firm's 75th anniversary. "These shoppers want quality, which gives an opportunity to add value to canned meat sales. There is an opportunity to capture this rejuvenated interest by focusing on traditional quality." {{PROVISIONS }}