Posted 22 April 2015
Consumer perceptions of Welsh and New Zealand lamb are being compared in a study by a final year Harper Adams University student.
Megan Evans from Cefn Coch in Welshpool is hoping to find out whether country of origin makes a difference to consumer purchasing habits by looking at the differences in marketing, pricing and image.
The 22-year-old BSc (Hons) Agri-food Marketing with Business Studies student, said: “I’ve chosen to compare these two countries in particular as Welsh lamb is seen to be the prime British option for UK consumers, whereas New Zealand lamb has a long-standing reputation for being the best globally.
“I want to find out whether consumers do pay attention to labelling and whether they are specifically interesting in buying Welsh, therefore British, products.”
Megan first became interested in her research topic during a summer spent scanning sheep in New Zealand. It was during this time that she noticed a difference in attitude towards local produce, in that the lamb products market themselves more easily.
For her research, Megan distributed a questionnaire to staff and students at the university, but it was her literature review that indicated that lamb is one of the least popular meats for consumers, due to factors such as price and assumed fat content.
Megan, Social Secretary of Llanfair Caereinion YFC and a keen rugby player, added: “The reality is that consumer choice is often based on price or prior knowledge of a specific product.
“But I’m hoping that this research will help to improve the marketing of Welsh lamb by comparing it to the global leader and in doing so, find out why New Zealand lamb is such a highly imported product.”
During her time at Harper Adams, Megan has been a member of Welsh student society, Harper Cymru, and now hopes to pursue a career within marketing in the meat industry after spending her placement year working for Welsh Meat Online in Welshpool.
She hopes to return to New Zealand to work within lamb marketing, to then bring back new found knowledge to Wales and the UK.
At home her family farms a sheep and beef system, with a 45-head pedigree Welsh black herd of cattle and 200-head flock of commercial sheep.