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Farming industry success countering negative meat and dairy perceptions

Hand holding empty shopping basket in front of supermarket fridge
More than four fifths of young shoppers planned to buy dairy produce following the campaign.

A farming industry campaign to counter negative perceptions about meat and dairy has been hailed a success with an increase in the number of shoppers planning to buy both products.

The £3.5 million We Eat Balanced campaign, now in its second year, was run by UK farm levy body the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in January and February.

First launched in January 2021 to coincide with Veganuary –an initiative which encourages people to adopt a vegan diet for the month of January – the campaign featured a TV advert with a little girl named Nancy and her Grandfather.

A girl stand in a field looking towards the horizon
A still from the TV advert for the We Eat Balanced campaign run by AHDB.

It aimed to showcase the role meat and dairy from the UK play in a balanced and sustainable diet, with a focus on highlighting both food groups as a natural source of vitamin B12.

AHDB polling of consumers, both before and after the campaign, showed an increase in the number of shoppers aged 34-49 who planned to buy meat – up to 77% from 72% before.

There was also an increase in the number of younger shoppers aged 16-34 who planned to buy dairy products – up to 84% from 78% previously – and 90% of all shoppers surveyed said the campaign communicated that meat and dairy can be part of a balanced diet.

Red meat and dairy can play part of healthy and sustainable diet

“The campaign has played an important role in helping counteract the sensationalist headlines by helping to position the positive role that red meat and dairy from Britain can play as part of a healthy and sustainable diet,” said AHDB director of marketing, Liam Byrne.

“It’s also great to see how well the campaign has landed with young people, who are typically very engaged in issues of ethics, health and environment.”

He said the AHDB polling had found 65% of young adults liked the TV advert and 82% found it interesting, while consumer perceptions across all age groups that meat and dairy from Britain is produced sustainably also grew – up to 41% and 51% respectively from 36% and 43% before.

Farmer efforts to keep meat and dairy on the menu in January pay off

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