A meaty topic!
With Mintel research showing that 30% of consumers eat pre-cooked meats once or twice a week, it’s clear that cooked, pre-packaged meats are not just a convenient option for lunchboxes but are increasingly being used at other meal occasions too – a trend which has been advanced by brands offering a greater range of flavours and formats
20 January 2016 | 0
AT A GLANCE: PACKAGED MEATS
- Carroll’s produces the number one delicatessen ham in Ireland and is established as Ireland’s biggest selling ham brand*
- The Brady Family brand is a favourite among Irish consumers, a fact reflected in the leap the brand made to number 46 in the Top 100 brands 2015 compiled by Kantar (up from 75 the previous year)
- Cookstown (part of Karro Foods) has launched Bacon Delights; fully-cooked, 100% lean, bacon medallions which can be microwaved in two minutes
- Over the past 12 months, more than £8 million has been invested at Cookstown on a number of major site improvements
- Greene Farm Foods is the number one in the Irish market for cooked poultry and beef which makes up the pre-packed cooked meats category
- 80% of consumers have purchased cooked meats in the last six months**
- 30% of consumers eat pre-cooked meats once or twice a week**
- 53% of consumers say concerns of food safety or traceability would prevent them from buying meat**
*(Source: Kantar Sept 2015).
**(Source: Mintel survey 2015)
Overall, the chilled convenience market is worth €576m in Ireland, according to Kantar data. Within this, the pre-packed cooked meats category is seeing significant growth due to its convenience and the health benefits white meat in particular has to offer.
A recent survey conducted by Mintel in 2015 revealed that within the pre-packed cooked meats category, 80% of consumers have purchased cooked meats in the last six months. A significant 30% of consumers eat pre-cooked meats once or twice a week. Meanwhile 53% said concerns around food safety or traceability would prevent them from buying meat.
Further statistics from Bord Bia’s Brand Health Check Report 2015 reveal how important each of the following characteristics are to consumers when buying pre-packed cooked meats: price 77%, flavour 71%, quality 53%, promotion 46%, origin 43%, brand name 20% and packaging 19%.
The pre-packed cooked meats category is frequently heavily merchandised with flash labels such as ‘Special Offer €2’. This is important because customers are now more price savvy, even as we come out of the recession. Free sampling can also be done through in-store tastings. This is an opportunity to recruit and retain customers by encouraging them to try flavours they would not normally buy. Shelf talkers and aisle fins are likewise essential in communicating a key message to consumers be it ‘Locally produced’ or ‘Natural ingredients’.
Huge leap up Kantar’s Top 100 brands
The Brady Family brand continues to prosper within the cooked meats category and is now firmly established as a favourite among Irish consumers. This is reflected in the leap the brand made to number 46 in the Top 100 master brands 2015 compiled by Kantar (up from 75 the previous year). Brady Family Ham is made from 100% Irish pork, using only one single pork joint and contains no added water.
2016 is set to be an exciting year for the Brady Family brand as bespoke marketing activity is rolled out nationwide in conjunction with a disruptive above-the-line marketing campaign. The new Brady Family advertising campaign, first aired in March last year, has been designed to educate consumers about ‘Real Ham’. The disruptive campaign will air across TV, radio and online media in 2016 and is sure to catch the attention of Irish shoppers. This will be further supported with nationwide sampling activity, point of purchase advertising and a presence at major Irish consumer events including Bloom in the Park.
The packaging across the full Brady Family portfolio has recently been refreshed, with the new look incorporating a new enhanced logo which highlights the provenance of the product, produced in Timahoe, Co. Kildare. All products within the portfolio carry the Bord Bia Quality Mark, a reassurance for consumers that Brady Family products are 100% Irish and high quality, having met the highest standards.
First established in 1978, the Brady Family brand is proud to support the local community and it was recently announced that the sponsorship contract with Kildare GAA will be renewed for another three year period. The sponsorship, originally set-up in January 2013, has helped to grow awareness for the brand nationally as well as cementing the brand’s position as a quality Irish product, locally produced within Co. Kildare.
The product range was extended in 2015 with the addition of two new Family Pack products, offering shoppers value within the premium tier, as well as a flavoured product in the sliced range; Garlic & Chilli ham. The Shredded ham range was also given a makeover with a new packaging format consisting of two individually wrapped pots, ideal for taking with you on-the-go or for use as a cooking ingredient. With continued investment in innovation and more NPD planned for launch in 2016, the brand believes it delivers a must-stock proposition for your cooked meats range.
Hand-crafted succulent premium products
Carroll’s is a delicatessen expert and still holds the longstanding position of producing the number one delicatessen ham* in Ireland. With a strong tradition of using classic family recipes, a Carroll’s ham is carefully nurtured, hand-crafted using only the highest quality pork, hand-carved, slowly cured and cooked to ensure a premium succulent ham that is delicious to taste. Carroll’s takes its time to get it right.
Carroll’s has built up a reputation for quality and taste and is now established as Ireland’s biggest selling ham brand* and is frequently found in lunchboxes nationwide as a healthy, protein-filled, satisfying lunch option.
Carroll’s keeps its product ranges new and fresh to ensure there is always something different to help fill that lunchbox! Along with new and exciting flavours, the company’s most recent venture includes the launch of Carroll’s into sliced poultry and its Protein Rich range including Pulled Ham and Chicken Fillets, perfect for eating on-the-go or as a cooking ingredient.
For more information on any of Carroll’s product offerings, check out its website at www.carrollcuisine.ie or to keep up to date with all of Carroll’s giveaways and Tasting locations find the company on Facebook/carrollsham.
*(Source: Kantar Sept 2015).
Delightful new bacon convenience offering
Cookstown, part of Karro Foods, has launched an innovative convenience bacon product in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The company’s Bacon Delights feature fully-cooked, 100% lean, bacon medallions which can be microwaved in two minutes for a quick and tasty meal. The 120g packs contain six medallions, are fully cooked, roasted and lightly smoked and can be eaten hot or cold.
Alastair McQuillan, general sales manager at Cookstown, says the new Bacon Delights is an ideal product for people on protein diets or trying to lose weight. The new product reflects the company’s commitment to innovation for customers in key markets such as the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland. The company also exports to the US and has its sights set on developing opportunities in China.
“The Bacon Delights product has been developed by us following extensive market research which revealed consumer issues associated with convenience, white residue from cooking and the need to trim fat,” McQuillan adds. “Bacon Delights overcomes all these issues and is a succulent and extremely convenient product. Using the microwave means there’s no need to clean the grill when cooking bacon.
“Over the past 12 months we have invested over £8 million at Cookstown on a number of major site improvements to support us in our plans to better meet retailer demand, provide customer choice and stay ahead of the opposition.
“We are very excited, for instance, about our new chilling facility, which is due for completion early in 2016. We are one of the first organisations in the world to utilise this new technology that will provide for greater efficiencies in carcase chilling and production, improved meat quality and increased slaughter capacity to more than 30,000 pigs. In addition we will also be able to grow our butchery capacity and process more added value lines.”
The investment also includes new product development and marketing facilities particularly to expand the Cookstown brand in the Republic of Ireland. Cookstown has been the market leader in Northern Ireland for over 70 years. It became part of Karro in 2013 and continues to be a major customer for pigs produced across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“All our meat is sourced locally from our 150 farmers both north and south, with whom we work closely to ensure the best animal welfare standards, production chain traceability and the supply of the highest quality pork products in the local market,” adds McQuillan
“We are always looking for new and exciting ways to meet consumer needs through product functionality, taste, convenience and packaging such as our new Bacon Delights.”
Meeting consumer trends within health, flavour and packaging
Celebrating 25 years in business, Greene Farm Foods is the number one in the Irish market for cooked poultry and beef which makes up the pre-packed cooked meats category. Over the last number of years, Greene Farm Foods has seen a number of trends in the growing health-conscious consumer market that it caters for. These include the fact that more consumers are following a gluten-free diet. An increase in people attending gyms has also led to a greater uptake in protein-based products. What’s more, consumers are looking for natural foods that are not processed. They want food that is in its most natural form.
Greene Farm Foods has incorporated these health-conscious consumer trends by continuously reviewing the ingredients in its products. The company produces products that are 100% natural, gluten-free, allergen-free, low in fat, high in protein and contain no MSG, artificial flavours or preservatives. All raw materials are specially selected prime cuts of meat. Its products contain no phosphates and have already met the 2017 salt guidelines.
Innovative packaging is also being designed to meet the growing trends of consumers wanting chilled convenient products, delivered in the freshest possible state. Trends in packaging include items being packaged separately, such as sachets of sauces being packed separately to protect the texture of the main product. Greene Farm Foods has taken advantage of the healthy on-the-go trend with its snack size range of Handy Packs which include a fork. The company has also invested in a unique technology that uses a re-sealable label system on its packaging. The unique packaging prolongs the freshness of their product and eliminates the need for storage containers.
Packaging labels are likewise conveying versatile product usage. Greene Farm Foods’ Torn range labels suggest they can be used as part of fillers, salads and pastas. In addition to this each product in the Torn range has recipe ideas printed on the back of each packet.
At Greene Farm Foods, new product development is a continuous cycle in which its chef hand-blends spices to create flavours using natural ingredients. Most recently, Greene Farm Foods developed new flavours called Fajita Beef and Garlic & Rosemary Roast Chicken Breast. Both products can be conveniently reheated or eaten chilled. These exclusive flavours can be added to wraps, sandwiches, soups, super foods salads or pasta dishes.