Burger business tackles horse meat fallout

Burger business tackles horse meat fallout

All About Food holds the licence to produce chilled burgers under the Gourmet Burger Kitchen brand and it says the true effects of the recent horse meat scandal on supermarket shopping habits are only just being realised, according to its recent research.

The company’s latest independent poll revealed that nearly a fifth of shoppers* have abandoned the category, finding other points of purchase for meat products. As a result, the specialists in bringing restaurant branded food to supermarket shelves is launching new on-pack messaging to support retailers, in a bid to build confidence and retain consumers in the chilled meat category.

The Gourmet Burger Kitchen products, currently stocked in Waitrose, boast the highest meat content of any retailer-based burgers, with 100% British beef and added seasoning only.

Brits ditch chilled meat fixture

According to All About Food’s research, 18% of consumers have abandoned the chilled meat category in favour of local butchers and farm shops, citing their produce as more trustworthy than the bigger superstores.

Declan Lockett, marketing director at all About Food said: “British consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and are more aware of the origins of their food, even before the horse meat scandal broke. The controversy earlier this year only fuelled that fire and resulted in consumers favouring what they see as ‘safer’ options with smaller, local producers.

“However, our research also revealed that ten per cent more meat purchasers trust branded meat (73.7%) above own label meat (64.3%.) They are reverting back to big branded names that they know they can trust, due to what they’ve read in the newspapers and seen on television recently about some own label alternatives.”

The research revealed that beef is still the second most popular meat purchased, with chicken being the first, but consumers are thinking more before making that purchase.

Declan added: “Our independent research found that meat content of the burger is the number one purchase driver for consumers, ahead of even price, which is a particularly surprising finding. Whilst price may have been more of a deciding factor this time last year, consumers would rather invest more cash now as reassurance that they are eating quality meat from a reliable source.

“As a business, we want to help educate consumers that not all chilled meat is untrustworthy. Our aim is to help retailers to get consumers shopping the fixture again.”

Communication of quality

In a vote of confidence to the quality of chilled meat, All About Food is unveiling new on pack messaging on its Gourmet Burger Kitchen range to communicate the quality of its products, in a bid to attract more footfall to the fixture.

Declan continued: “At All About Food, we’re completely confident about the quality of our meat and intend to lead the way in restoring consumer confidence in chilled meat. The first step towards this is our new on pack messaging, which sends a clear message to consumers and retailers that there are no nasties in our burgers.”

The new on pack flashes will communicate that the beef is 100% British and of the highest meat content. The new packaging will be on shelf during spring 2013.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s chilled burgers are available in Waitrose stores and retail at £4.39 for a pack of two 6oz burgers. In the last year, All About Food has increased distribution of its Gourmet Burger Kitchen branded burgers from 50 to 180 stores.

*All About Food conducted consumer research with Toluna, speaking to 1,000 meat purchasers in April 2013.

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