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Mystery shoppers reveal retailer support for Scotch beef

By Hannah Binns 

 

Mystery shoppers were sent into branches of the major supermarkets to check if the burgers on sale were labelled Scotch or British.

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The latest shelf watch undertaken by Scotland’s NFU members on targeted nine superstores around the Midlothian area, focusing on the availability of fresh Scotch burgers for consumers as the BBQ season approaches.

 

Following their visit, the shoppers concluded Tesco and Aldi were the only two retailers in which customers were guaranteed that any burger bought would be of Scottish origin.

 

They also found Scotch beef burgers on offer in Morrisons, the Co-Op and Lidl, whereas all burgers in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer’s were British.

 

Also red flagged was the superstore Asda’s ’lax approach’ to key information on labels, with the majority of burgers in the Asda store surveyed missing clear country of origin, other than British.

 

NFU Scotland Livestock Committee Chairman Charlie Adam said it was ’encouraging the vast majority of large retailers offer Scotch beef burgers’ and praised Tesco and Aldi for their commitment to provenance and clear labelling.

 

He also raised an issue with the retailer Asda saying it was unfortunate the origin was not apparent from the labels and the importance for shoppers to see clear Country of Origin labelling on processed meats introduced into the UK.

 

“I would urge all of those retailers who do not currently offer Scotch Beef Burgers to go back to their own supply chain and make sure they offer burgers from Scotland in their Scottish stores," added Mr Adam.

 


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In summary, the shelf watch findings were:

  • Tesco (Corstorphine) - Total number of packs: 102 (Scotch: 102).
  • Aldi (Gorgie Edinburgh) – Total number of packs: 58 (Scotch: 28, Scottish: 30).
  • Lidl (Dalry Edinburgh) - Total number of packs: 142 (Scotch: 118, British: 24).
  • The Co-op (Dalry Edinburgh) - Total number of packs: 32 (Scotch: 26, British: 6).
  • Morrisons (Gyle Centre, Edinburgh) - Total number of packs: 61 (Scotch: 37, British: 24).
  • Marks and Spencer’s (Gyle Centre) - Total number of packs: 233 (British: 233).
  • Sainsbury’s (Murrayfield Edinburgh) - Total number of packs: 76 (British: 76).
  • Waitrose (Morningside Edinburgh) - Total number of packs: 134 (British: 34).
  • Asda (Chesser Edinburgh) - Total number of packs: 56 (No Clear Origin: 51, British: 5).
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