The focus is helping to add value to the carcase while tackling faltering roast sales by encouraging a shift in consumer buying habits. This, in turn, aims to ensure beef and lamb products remain staples of the weekly shop, demonstrating their versatility and taste.

Mini roasts have been core to the AHDB Beef & Lamb market development strategy over the last three years, with a key promotional period targeted in the autumn to make the most of plentiful availability of domestic product. The promotion is all about encouraging consumers to select a mini roast for a convenient mid-week meal.

Detailed analysis of the most recent mini roast television adverts, which ran last November, showed the short term impact of the campaign directly delivered £526,000 worth of mini roast sales, with the “halo effect” – namely people seeing the adverts and purchasing other beef or lamb joints – adding up to £11 million, or £12.7 million for the whole red meat roasting category.

Sales were up for both beef and lamb, with the adverts reaching 22 million households across Britain.

“Our analysis showed people switching from chicken to buy the beef and lamb products with a rise in the number of people saying the mini roast offered a quicker, easier way to roast than more traditional products,” said Mike Whittemore, head of trade and product development for AHDB.

“We do a lot of new product development work aimed at taking beef and lamb cuts and offering practical meal solutions for modern families, who demand convenience, especially during the working week. We then work with the processors and retailers to highlight the cuts, recipe ideas and promotion potential, ultimately with the aim of adding value to the carcase and ensuring the new product developed is available for consumers to buy in store.

“This is long-term work but these latest results show the approach is working and resonating with shoppers.”

The mini-roast campaign drives awareness of cuts that will improve carcase balance. The size of the market is relatively small, worth £31m, but it has grown 4.1% over the last 52 weeks. Category development through working with the beef and lamb supply chain has played a key role with 22 new mini-roast products brought to market by the multiple retail sector over the campaign period.

Laura Ryan, sector strategy director for AHDB Beef & Lamb said: “The campaign is directly attributable to an increase in mini roast sales of £526,000 with a halo effect in the wider the roasting category of £12.7m. The campaign provided the best results for beef with 72% of the halo effect, and 14% lamb and 14%pork.

“The campaign was most successful with older shoppers, so for this year we will review our approach including further engagement with multiple retailers and their convenience ranges

“While we are delighted with the results, it is important to remember this is one element of a broad marketing strategy that covers a very wide range of activity.”

AHDB Beef & Lamb plans to support mini roast promotion again this year, and will continue to work with processors and retailers to support the campaign in the autumn.