Danish bacon producer Tulip International ­ the company behind the Danepak brand ­ has hit back at recent marketing initiatives from the British bacon industry, claiming it has "put consumers off buying bacon". Tulip International sales and marketing director Malcolm Parkinson said: "The British industry has focused on a number of welfare and food safety issues over the past year which have actually put some consumers off buying bacon. This, combined with heavy price promotional activity, has devalued the market further." Parkinson added that brands are key to driving growth in the category. He said the Danepak bacon range has shown 30% value growth over the past year and that consumers are putting quality and added value before price. "Consumers are willing to pay more if they are assured of a quality product with a brand heritage they trust. In the case of bacon, brands stand out even more because of the proliferation of own label," he said. Danepak is investing £100,000 in a category management programme and is working with retailers to develop the category. Parkinson added: "We need to look to brands to kick start the category so that we can attract consumers back to the fixture." {{P&P }}