Despite home to the lion’s share of red meat and dairy exports, shipments to the EU have steadily declined over the past 18 months – factors such as Brexit, COVID-19 and the subsequent closure of the restoration having a major impact.
However, according to AHDB’s latest Horizon report, “Exploring the EU: Understanding Consumers’ Needs”, opportunities still exist to increase business and maximize the good relationships cultivated over the past 40 years.
AHDB’s Director of International Market Development, Dr Phil Hadley, said: âAHDB is committed to working with UK government and industry to continue mutually beneficial trade with our EU neighbors and all efforts are being made to ensure that UK products remain in these important markets.
“But if we are to continue to see our products on tables across the EU, it is essential that we have a better idea of ââwhat consumers in these important markets are looking for when they shop.”
The new report takes an in-depth look at new and growing trends in several countries, drawing key opportunities and consumption considerations for UK exporters.
It follows a study commissioned by AHDB and carried out with consumer research agency Two Ears One Mouth to better understand the buying habits of consumers in the EU and to see if they would consider buying. British products.
Among the recommendations for UK exporters is the need for a global message around Brand Britain, as well as more targeted communication to meet the needs of consumers in EU markets.
Exporters are also urged to build on core messages around taste and quality, as well as broader reputation topics and pay particular attention to their unique selling points, messaging and visual cues.
AHDB Senior Consumer Insight Manager and report co-author Steven Evans said: âBy obtaining valuable insight into the meat buying habits of over 11,000 consumers in nine EU markets and 4,000 consumers of products dairy products in two markets, we have been able to produce an extremely important report for UK exporters.
âThe research we have undertaken provides a wealth of knowledge on how EU consumers seek out the foods they consume to meet a greater number of needs, such as quality and taste, as well as on looking for products that are environmentally friendly and have an ethical vision, but they always expect food to be good value for money.
It also includes valuable consumer insight from AHDB agents and staff working in some of the key target markets, providing a better understanding of how consumers perceive UK red meat and dairy products and the opportunities. that exist for exporters.
Dr Hadley added: âTrade is essential to the long term sustainability of the UK food and agriculture industry. The AHDB understands the importance of the EU as an export market and, despite our recent exit, it remains the UK’s most important trading partner, providing an opportunity for exporters.
âThis latest Horizon report provides a wealth of crucial information for existing UK exporters, as well as taxpayers looking to sell their products in EU markets for the first time.
“We believe that AHDB’s continued pursuit of knowledge and a better understanding of these markets will help our taxpayers maximize any potential opportunities and maintain their position as the world leader in food and agriculture for years to come. future.