Manufacturers should look to the ice cream industry for ideas for the future, said Chris Lukehurst, pigmeat marketing manager with the Meat and Livestock Commission.
“Ice cream is a good comparison. Ice cream was considered a children’s product, much like sausage, until people realised adults were eating ice cream as well.”
He said the surge in more adult-orientated and sophisticated ice cream products filled that need and sausage could learn from the example.
“At the moment, the premium and frozen products are the choc-ices of the sausage world. There’s a whole need state there still to be satisfied.”
To help manufacturers identify and fulfill those ‘need states’, the MLC has published a detailed Sausage Report.
Completed in conjunction with TNS, Thornton’s Mustard, The Marketing Clinic and foodservice researcher FMCG, the report looks at opportunities in the sausage market.
Lukehurst said: “The sausage is a good news story for the UK pigmeat sector, having seen good growth. We wanted to try and understand what was going on in the market.”
The report contains up-to-date data on the sector, from retail through to foodservice. It also examines consumers attitudes to the product and how the market is segmented.
“The ‘need states’ research was particularly interesting,” said Lukehurst. “It flagged up opportunities that are not being exploited.”
He said the report highlighted opportunities for sausage to bring flavour to certain meals. “We can look at the more continental ways of using sausage, cutting it up and using it in pasta or salad dishes. There’s more work to be done in those areas.”