Change on the horizon after AHDB webinars


Change on the horizon after AHDB webinars

A staggering 81 per cent of attendees at AHDB’s recent Retail and Consumer Insight webinars say they will potentially make changes to their business as a result of what they heard.

More than 170 red meat and dairy levy payers and stakeholders attended the series of webinars to hear how the consumer landscape has changed over the last year and how Covid-19 has impacted attitudinal shifts and reputational issues across industry.

Feedback from the attendees showed overwhelming positivity – with 97 per cent rating the quality of the presentations high and 96 per cent saying the information in the presentations was hugely relevant to their business.

A further 92 per cent scored the webinars high for usefulness and 89 per cent of attendees said the findings of AHDB analysts improved their knowledge.

AHDB Senior Consumer Insight Manager Steven Evans said: “The feedback we received was incredibly positive, once again showing the enormous value our work brings to levy payers and their businesses.

“The majority have said they will be making changes centered around building the right communication and marketing into their business plans based on the consumer trends we discussed in our three webinars.

“The evidence and research we provide helps farmers, processors and the wider supply chain prepare for the changing consumer landscape and adapt their business to meet the growing needs of their customers.”

The three webinars provided valuable insight into the hot topics facing the red meat and dairy sectors. As well as exploring how the pandemic has affected demand, they looked at how consumer views around reputational factors, such as Buying British, health and the environment as well as animal welfare and trust in the industry, have evolved in the last year and how AHDB can work with levy payers to address these issues.

During the webinars, analysts highlighted the potential opportunities, including improving the in-store experience in retail by being innovative and dialing up reputational messaging.

In the out-of-home market, opportunities exist to increase the presence of red meat and dairy on menus and maximise on the takeaway and delivery trends which have soared due to lockdown.

Across the consumer reputational landscape, industry was also encouraged to promote the health benefits of red meat and dairy, build a positive sustainability story into their products and reassure consumers of the high standards in the UK, offering transparency where possible.

Attendees were also told how during the last 12 months, the number of meals eaten at home remained higher than pre-pandemic levels as restaurants and cafes continue to recover from lockdown. According to Kantar, there were 5.7 billion in-home meals eaten during the four weeks to September 5 – half a billion higher than the pre-pandemic average.

Meat, fish and poultry as well as dairy retail volumes are up significantly compared to pre-pandemic levels. And according to AHDB’s unique volumes estimates across the total meat market, pig meat has seen growth over the last six months compared to 2020 and 2019.

While beef is down year-on-year due to exceptional demand last year, volumes remain the same as 2019. And lamb is stable year-on-year but in growth compared to 2019.

AHDB Senior Retail Insight Manager Kim Malley said: “The three webinars allowed AHDB to provide industry with in-depth insight into the evolving consumer and retail landscape, pulling out trends and buying behaviours, as well as highlighting the potential opportunities that exist for our levy payers.

“These webinars, which replaced our annual conference during lockdown, have proved to be hugely valuable and we are delighted that so many levy payers attended and will go on to make changes to their business as they look to the future.”

If you missed any of the webinars, you can still watch them here

In spring 2022, we’ll be asking all eligible levy payers to shape our work and priorities. Your views will help guide what we deliver over the next five years. Have your say on the vital support we offer your business and the industry. Registration opens December 2021.