Scotch Lamb; on your plate, naturally

2019 | Edinburgh

The lamb category in Scotland is in long term decline and under trades significantly versus the total meat category. Carat developed a campaign that changed consumers’ perceptions of lamb and increased the volume and frequency of sales. We helped get more lamb on to more Scottish plates, naturally.




Scotch Lamb PGI Explained

Scotch Lamb PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) is specially selected and only sourced from Scottish farms that adopt best practice regarding animal welfare and natural production methods. All lamb that bears the PGI badge with the Scotch Lamb logo were born, reared and processed in Scotland and they hold whole life quality assurance.

PGI is an EU scheme to protect and promote high quality traditional and regional food products unique to a geographic area. Scotch Lamb has long held this coveted PGI status and takes its quality and characteristics from a stress-free life grazing on the Scottish hills.

The Lamb Category in Scotland

The lamb category in Scotland is in long term decline and lamb under trades significantly versus the total meat category. Consumers don’t perceive lamb as value for money or convenient and they need inspiration for what to do with the meat to incorporate it in to their meals beyond roasts and chops.

In addition to this, Scotch lamb faces competition from Scottish lamb (any lambs that have been born, reared and processed in Scotland independent of any quality guarantees and without PGI status) and Home Produced (British) and New Zealand lamb.

Short and Long-Term Goals

Quality Meat Scotland’s long-term goal is to arrest this decline by attracting new buyers into the market, as well as encouraging those who currently purchase to do so more frequently.

To achieve this, their aim was to make lamb an everyday meal solution. By adding lamb to the weekday repertoire, it would improve the scope to increase the potential frequency of purchase.

Campaign KPIs included;

• Increase the volume of lamb retailed in Scotland by 5% during the campaign period
      - This will be measured by a 5% uplift in penetration and 5% uplift in frequency of purchase during the campaign period
• Build upon the image of the Scotch Lamb PGI brand and increase the following perceptions by 6%;
      - ‘Quick and easy to cook with’
      - ‘Great midweek meal’
      - ‘Scotch lamb is a brand I trust’
      - ‘Scotch lamb is worth paying more for’



Strategic Context

With significant sales targets to reach and a range of perceptions to change, we needed a strategy that was broad reaching enough to quickly cut-through and deliver a hero message, but also agile enough to deliver inspiration and assure people that lamb was a versatile, tasty and simple to cook meat which they could incorporate in to their mid-week diet.

The Rise of Flexitarianism

The current consumer climate doesn’t lend itself to a campaign trying to increase the frequency of purchase of red meat. The rising trend of flexitarianism means that people are cutting down on the meat that they eat in restaurants and at home, with 58% of people claiming that they’re eating more vegetables than they did a year ago at the expense of meat. When people are eating meat, they no longer look for quantity, 73% of people value the quality of meat they eat higher than the quantity.

Quality Over Quantity

Our audience’s desire for quality over quantity when it comes to meat, puts Scotch lamb in a strong position as it holds both provenance and substantiated claims of quality. In addition, with our audience getting more creative in the kitchen as they move away from traditional diets, they are actively seeking recipe ideas and food content. This meant that we were activating the campaign not only at the key lamb sales period, but at an incredibly relevant time in consumer culture.

A Simple Strategic Framework


Broad communications to drive discovery and rediscovery of Scotch lamb at key moments in the shopper journey.


Excite and delight with mealtime ideas to drive reappraisal of lamb as a key ingredient.


Refresh and remind at point of sale to bring lamb top of mind pre- and during the shop.

Target Audience

The target audience segments represented 39% of the Scottish adult population and were made up of 5 key MOSAIC segments; Prestige Positions, Country Living, Rural Reality, Domestic Success and Modest Traditions.

There were significant income and lifestyle differences between our audiences and so we needed to use channels which could not only broadly reach them at once, but also talk to them at group level to ensure the messaging we showed was most relevant and tailored to their needs.

Channel Selection

We needed to use media channels that were well known for driving perception and brand effect uplift, as well as strong commercial performance in the short term.


Television, Outdoor, Radio


Television, Digital Display (video), Print


Outdoor, Digital Display



We launched at the end of August, prioritising quick 1+ coverage to bring Scotch lamb to the front of our audiences’ mind.

Activation - Roam

Making Lamb Unmissable

We used a combination of television and broadcaster video-on-demand (BVOD) to make the hero, 30-second creative unmissable on the audiences’ favourite media channel. BVOD supported linear TV; as the audience groups linear viewing varied significantly, using both together added incremental reach to the campaign in premium broadcast environments and this approach enabled us to reach 77% of our target audience on average 9 times.

We cherry picked programming across ITV Border, STV, Channel4 and ITV Breakfast and upweighted activity on Thursday – Saturday to increase awareness amongst the audience ahead of their primary shopping days (Sunday-Monday).

Reinforcing the Brand Message

We knew that a multi-channel campaign, using radio alongside TV and OOH, drives greater brand effectiveness and so we deployed radio to amplify and reinforce the brand message with additional reach and greater message frequency.

We increased the weight of our activity at dayparts when our audience were more likely to be thinking about meal plans and up-weighted the late afternoon daypart of 1500-1700 to increase consideration prior to a top-up or main shopping visit.

We used Native Video to add an additional touchpoint of delivery for the core video creative. We focussed on contextually relevant environments, only using premium partners that regularly carry respected food and recipe content.


Activation - Graze

Recipe Inspiration from Respected Sources

We partnered with two key publishers in print to show the versatility of lamb; News Scotland and DC Thompson. We ran full page display adverts and advertorials across their key titles to communicate the quality, provenance and mealtime inspiration messages all whilst leveraging the publications voice of authority with their readership.

Recipe Cards in Paid Social

In Paid Social, we used Facebook and Instagram to deliver recipe ideas in both video and image format. We sequentially targeted the audience based on their engagement with the hero video, retargeting them with recipe image cards and drove visitors to the website where there were more examples.

Programmatic display supported the inspiration phase of the strategy, delivering recipe card ideas as people browsed contextually relevant content.


Activation - Herd

The Last Window of Influence

We ran 6 sheets outside of key supermarkets to target the audience during the last window of influence of their shopper journey. We were active at Tesco, Morrisons, ASDA, Lidl and Aldi stores, each selected for high audience use and strong Scotch lamb distribution.

At Tesco, using Clubcard data, we could up-weight our messaging to times of day when higher percentages of affluent home-owning couples and families were shopping.

In addition to presence at store, we amplified the message across mobile devices within at 1km radius of stores with an active 6-sheet. This helped to reinforce the brand message and prompt purchase a little earlier in the final stage of their weekly shopper journey.

Campaign in Numbers

Over 95% of Scotland’s adult population were exposed to the campaign at least once, with the average messaging
exposure at 13.

Total impacts for the campaign were over 57m, a phenomenal reach for a relatively modest budget.


Over 95% of Scotland’s adult population were exposed to the campaign at least once, with the average messaging exposure at 13.



To measure the performance of the activity, we used Kantar Worldpanel data to understand sales performance of the campaign and a pre-and-post campaign tracking study, run by IGD, to understand the softer perception metrics of the campaign.

Sales Performance

According to Kantar Worldpanel data, to the week ending 4th November 2018, the campaign delivered an 11% increase in penetration and 10% increase in frequency of purchase versus a pre-campaign target of 5% for each.

In addition, Kantar Worldpanel data showed a 27% increase in spend per buyer and a 20% increase in volume purchased per buyer during the 12-week campaign period.

The campaign drove strong market share growth for Scotch lamb, at the expense of both Home Produced and New Zealand lamb;

Market shares of lamb retail sales in Scotland by recorded product origin
Source: Kantar Worldpanel

52 Weeks Ending Metric Home Produced (British) New Zealand Scottish
31 Dec 17


Spend (£000)

42.9% 17.2% 22.8%


Volume (000 kg)

42.7% 18.0% 21.5%
30 Dec 18


Spend (£000)

40.2% 15.0% 26.5%


Volume (000 kg)

40.1% 16.1% 25.6%


We increased the number of households purchasing lamb throughout the campaign period, stealing share from both key competitors and importantly, we increased the frequency at which, current customers were buying and consuming lamb.

Perception Change of Scotch Lamb

In addition to driving sales uplift, a key focus of the campaign was to raise awareness of Scotch Lamb as a simple, quick mid-week meal.

The campaign delivered an uplift across all key perception statements amongst those who were aware of the campaign;

Perception Statement Uplift Pre-Campaign Post-Campaign

'Quick and easy to cook with'

11% 59% 70%

'Great midweek meal'

7% 55% 62%

'Scotch lamb is a brand I trust'

6% 69% 75%

'Scotch lamb is worth paying for'

9% 40% 49%


The campaign brought the highest quality lamb, Scotch lamb, to more dinner plates, more often.

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