Pea suppliers say a campaign to promote their produce has reversed a dip in sales.
Last year’s £50,000 Yes Peas! campaign is said to have increased volume sales by 5%, compared with a decline of 2% a year in the previous two years.
Although the figures are not official or cross-industry, they come from one of the UK’s major suppliers, and sector representatives insist they reflect a general trend.
Campaign spokeswoman Caroline Kenyon said: “The figures are anecdotal but we’re over the moon. We’ve not only halted the decline, but sales have
Kenyon said that the campaign would be repeated this year with similar funding levels, with finalisation of specific initiatives due to occur in the next three weeks.
This year’s drive is likely again to feature ITV Yorkshire’s Flying Cook Rachel Green and an appearance at the BBC Good Food Show in November. Recipes and photography will go out to consumer magazines.
Last year, organisers also ran the Grab 5! School Menu Challenge, which encouraged schoolchildren to devise a healthy recipe containing peas. It is unclear whether this initiative will be repeated.
The campaign, organised by the Processed Vegetable Growers’ Association, was funded by the PVGA and a voluntary levy from pea growers and processors.
PVGA manager Tim Mudge said: “The angle we take with the campaign is to get people to use peas but use them differently. We’re saying, don’t just put them beside your Sunday roast or your fish and chips, although these are great ways to use peas. We’re saying, try them in recipes such as risottos, stir fries and soups.”
NFU horticulture chairman Richard Hirst said: “The PVGA has achieved staggering results. Yes Peas! has achieved media coverage worth more than £900,000.”
Richard Clarke