The return of pig levy to the Scottish industry is a “very welcome opportunity” to relaunch promotional efforts on behalf of the country’s Specially Selected Pork (SSP) brand, according to Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
While the closure in late 2012 of the Halls of Broxburn pig plant in Scotland meant QMS could no longer undertake any major promotional activity behind SSP, the development of the new pig plant in Brechin has reopened promotional opportunities.
This was the encouraging message given to producers during yesterday’s Scottish pig industry conference by QMS head of marketing, Laurent Vernet, who was also upbeat on the sector’s current status with consumers.
“Our research indicates that the SSP brand is very much supported by younger Scottish consumers and, while Scottish-origin fresh pork has a small market share in Scotland due to limited branded supply, it is encouraging to note that its share of the market is stable,” he said.
“Forty-two per cent of Scottish shoppers recognise and trust the SSP brand, which is available via three Scottish retailers and represents a third of the fresh pork Scottish market retail share.”
Mr Vernet (pictured above) also warned, however, that the sector faced real challenges in the marketplace.
“The reality is that, in line with GB trends, volume sales of fresh pork were down 8.5% year-on-year in Scotland and average retail price was also down by 3.7%,” he said.
“There is no doubt that there are some challenges to be tackled but our Scottish pig industry has many strong messages. I believe there are real opportunities to grow the SSP brand in the months and years ahead.”