Latest AHDB pork marketing campaign resonates with consumers

AHDB’s latest pork marketing campaign reached more than 85% of UK households, according to new figures, which show consumers’ desire to buy pork at its highest level in three years.

The Mix Up Midweek campaign, which is now in its fourth year, generated more than 20 million impressions on social media and three million impressions via video on demand in its latest bursts, in autumn 2020 and from mid-January to late-February this year.

The £1.3 million campaign was part of AHDB’s ongoing drive to shift consumer attitudes towards pork by positioning it as a healthy, easy and versatile option for a midweek family meal.

With two bursts of activity, focusing on pork medallions and pulled pork, the campaign featured a light-hearted national TV advert, complemented by the use of video on demand, social media and advertising in supermarkets.

It proved popular with consumers, with eight in ten questioned claiming they liked the adverts and 40% saying they remembered seeing the adverts, equating to nearly double the food and drink industry average of 21%.

While the growth can’t be attributed to the campaign as it is driven by a range of factors, including the boost to retail food sales generally from the COVID lockdowns, the figures coincide with a significant increase in retail pork sales across the last year. This has made pork the fastest-growing protein by meal occasion in the last 12 months.

Independent retail sales data from Kantar showed a 71.1% increase in sales of pork medallions in the year to February 21, 2021. During the same period, pork meal occasions grew by 20%, outstripping all other proteins.

Angela Christison, AHDB sector strategy director for pork, said: “We’re really pleased to see the latest campaign driving a very positive reaction from consumers. The desire to buy pork is now at its highest level in three years.

“Supporting a positive attitude towards pork is a long-term strategy. We’re keen to continue building upon the success of previous phases of the campaign as we see more and more consumers cooking pork throughout the week.

“The support from farmers, processors and retailers for these campaigns has been great and allows us to act as a united industry to support pork consumption.”

For a range of pork-based recipes and a series of how-to guides, as well as information around the different pork cuts and healthy eating, visit lovepork.co.uk.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.