National Butchers’ Week back for 2020
One of the highlights of the butchery calendar is back for 2020. National Butchers’ Week 2020 takes place on 9-15 March and the perfect opportunity to engage with existing customers and win over some new ones.
According to figures compiled by the Office of National Statistics and published by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), there are around 6,000 independent retail butchers in the UK, a 60% reduction over the past 25 years. However, this decline in numbers has slowed down of late and the remaining independent retail butchers in the UK are providing a quality alternative to the major multiple retailers, with National Butchers’ Week giving them the chance to showcase what they have to offer.
At a time when the backlash from lobby groups and the media against meat is extremely high, National Butchers’ Week is an opportunity for independent retail butchers to shout about their businesses and attract new customers to their shops. In the past, butchers have held tasting days, launched fantastic new products, invited schools to learn about where quality British meat comes as well as reached out to their communities to become a vital hub.
With social media becoming a vital marketing tool for independent butchers, many have taken to Twitter to promote what they’re doing during National Butchers’ Week, offering a special deal every day to their loyal online followers. You can get involved with the conversation by using the hashtag #nationalbutchersweek on social media. You can also follow the action by searching for Meat Trades Journal on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
John Kirk of Kirk’s of Skegness explains why National Butchers’ Week is vital for the industry. “It’s a great format for local butchers who are under pressure from supermarkets. These supermarkets may be a jack of all trades but they’re a master of none which is what we are and we need to make customers aware of this.”
He says that National Butchers’ Week is the perfect occasion to show customers how independent retail butchers are different. “We master on quality, price and innovation. Butchers will champion quality produce but we need to let our customers know this.
“Promote yourselves, get on social media – you need to shout about what sets you apart from the competition and National Butchers’ Week is a great opportunity to do just that.”
National Butchers’ Week isn’t just championed by independent butchery businesses – in previous years the event has been supported by celebrity chefs and restaurants, all promoting the amazing products and service available on high streets from butchers around the UK.
This year’s National Butchers’ Week is sponsored by Henry Winnings & Co., Inspiron Systems Ltd and Leonards Ingredients, and they’re both urging butchery businesses from around the country to get involved in the conversation.
Henry Winnings & Co. group managing director Stuart Revill explains why it is important for the business to support National Butchers’ Week 2020.
“Henry Winning & Co. is 140 years young in 2020 and for many years we have been the only UK manufacturers of butchers hand tying twines, a fact we’re very proud of,” he said. “We have seen great diversity from our customers the last few years into our new varieties of coloured twines, and National Butchers’ Week is a great place for us to continue to showcase these exciting new products as well as all our traditional ones to our customers.”
Revill urged independent butchers to get involved in the week’s activities and support one another by telling the fantastic story of British produce. “Butchers, like us all in these uncertain times, need to stick together and National Butchers’ Week is a great platform for them to be shouting about how good they are and what wonderful products they have to offer to their customers.”
Leonards Ingredients’ Eleanor Lelliott adds that the company’s roots come from butchery and that National Butchers’ Week is a natural fit for them to support.
“Leonards has always had butchers at the core of our business, having originated in a butcher’s shop in Gosport back in the 80s,” she explains. “In fact, our multi-award winning Original Spicy Kebab and Old English mixes started the company as you know it today. So when the opportunity to be a part of the National Butchers’ Week team came up we leapt at the chance.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for butchers to promote their business to new customers with the help of a large media presence. It also offers an excellent dialogue for butchers to communicate the ethos and traditions of the trade. Many of our customers have been in the trade for generations, and often have long standing suppliers in the 2nd, 3rd or even 4th generations themselves. Butchers stand uniquely placed to offer the traditions, knowledge and quality of the past, whilst also providing the variety of convenience foods that many new customers expect.”
Lelliott advises butchers to get vocal as possible during the event, particularly when there’s so much anti-meat sentiment. “In an era of environmental and ethical concerns over meat and where many consumers have become disassociated with food production, having a national platform to balance the scales is vital. Tell your customers where their food comes from, promote your convenience meals, engage your local area and just generally shout about your fantastic independent business. Make sure you tag in @LeonardsUK on your social media posts, and check out the National Butchers’ Week website for an excellent press release template to help raise local interest.”
Butchers can download the press release guide for sharing what you’re doing with local press as well as a poster and logo at www.nationalbutchersweek.co.uk.