ONE OF THE BES T TASTING PROTEINS IS SOME TIMES THE HARDEST ONE to find at your local supermar- ket. Lamb has one of the most unique flavor profiles of all the
products sold in the meat case. Yet it can be
hard to find at most retailers across the U. S.
In fact, lamb only has 0.8 percent share of
the meat dollar sales nationwide.
The culprit for the lack of sales may be a
lack of consumer familiarity, as many shoppers do not know how to prepare lamb,
and the retail prices are just high enough
to keep them from experimenting. On average lamb is only advertised in two percent
of the ads across the
U.S. As consumers increasingly desire more
global flavors and new
retailers need to do
a better job promoting lamb throughout
the year and not just
during holidays. On
average, a retail chain
publishes 23 lamb ads
per year compared to
527 beef ads per year. Less than two-thirds
advertised lamb over the last 12 months.
An important question may be: Why do
you want the lamb consumer in your store?
According to ECRM, for the 52 weeks ended
Oct. 3, the average dollar basket size con-
taining fresh lamb was $86.02, while the av-
erage basket size that contained a product
from the meat department was $60.73.
With the high cost of beef, promoting
lamb once a week on an inside ad block
could give you more bang for your buck and
bring the lamb category back to life.
Retailers should do a deep dive in the
lamb category and take a look at their
product variety, pricing, packaging, plan-o-grams and promotional schedule.
There are a lot of product choices that
offer differentiation in the lamb category
including American lamb, imported lamb,
organic, ABF or conventional. The main
thing is to have the items your customers
want and that the products are in line with
your company’s values.
One of the key factors for success in the
lamb category is consistency. Consumers
should be able to go into their local supermarket and find the same products seven
days a week, 365 days a year. With the new
packaging technology that is available to
extend shelf life, this is more doable than
ever. In fact, most suppliers today offer a
large variety of packaging options (MAP,
Roll-Stock, Dar-fresh and Skin-pack) that
can give retailers a 21- to 28-day shelf life.
This can eliminate shrink in this category
and will drive more sales.
To make an impact, retailers need to make
sure these products are in stock and on the
shelf at all of their stores, every week. If you
are trying to increase your customer counts
and bring them back to this category on a
weekly basis you should have this section of
the case on a plan-o-gram. This will make the
category easier for consumers to shop on a
weekly basis and grow year-over-year sales.
If you are looking to jump start your lamb
program, you need to be aggressive with
pricing and be willing to give up a little bit
of your margin. It does not matter if it is imported or domestic lamb, aggressive pricing
will help bring consumers back to the category consistently enough to drive week over
week sales increases.
Use store-advertising platforms to help
bring in new consumers to the category
with easy to follow recipes and weekly
specials. Loin, rib and shoulder chops are
your main drivers for weekly ads but do
not be afraid to rotate in new items to
keep your customers trying new things.
Boneless legs, seasoned boneless lamb
roast, lamb stew meat and ground lamb
are great items to offer with easy recipes
that will attract and excite new consumers
to the lamb category.
Store execution is one of the keys to successfully making the lamb category a destination point for your stores. Make sure
messages are consistently delivered down
through your stores and that all associates understand the end goal. Inspire and
encourage them with sales contests and
other rewards to acknowledge significant
By sharing the inspirational culinary adventure offered by lamb, retailers can truly
bring the category back to life with the
“best kept secret” in the meat case. S
Brian Di;enderfer is global business development director, meat &
seafood, for Daymon Worldwide.
He can be reached at bdi;firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THE LAMB
A consistent lamb program can help boost a retailer’s bottom line.
By Brian Diffenderfer