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Meat bosses have admitted they are trying to target young people through a £2.5 million pork campaign.

The ‘Pick Pork’ advertising initiative by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) will screen television ads from September 17, encouraging consumers to try cooking pork loin steaks and medallions

In addition, the ad will ‘harness the power of social media influencers’ in what the AHDB describes as an attempt to ‘encourage younger people to purchase pork’.

‘Changing perceptions’

AHDB’s Head of Meat Marketing, Liam Byrne, said: “We’re out to change shoppers’ perception of pork, putting more on plates through the week. We know if people don’t have the confidence to cook pork, with easy recipes to choose from, they simply won’t. We’re using a number of methods to change that.

“The new Pick Pork campaign runs from TV screens through to shops, with retailer support recognised as an important step early on. As shoppers browse, they will see on-pack recipe inspiration and promotions as they shop online.

“To encourage more retailers to back pork, we’ve also used front page trade advertising and we’re pleased that major supermarkets and independent butchers are supporting.”

Young people and vegan diets

A survey conducted by Harris Interactive for leading food trade journal The Grocer, showed that the number of Brits ditching meat has tripled since 2012. It said almost 8 million British residents – around 12 percent of the population – identify as vegan (two percent), vegetarian (six percent), or pescatarian (four percent).

The research also showed that it is young people are driving the charge towards veggie and vegan diets, with 18-44-year-olds most likely to have stopped eating animals.

Animal welfare was cited as the biggest motivating factor, with 31 percent changing diet because of the treatment of farmed animals. Around 20 percent cited the environmental impact of meat eating (including the destruction of rainforests) as a key reason.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.