Ham it up

Ham and bacon is popular not only in Ireland but also throughout the world. The versatility and variety these products offer make them a staple in our diets.

This is according to Michelle Brady, of the meat division of Bord Bia.

“Meatingplace, a popular trade publication in the US, states that ham’s popularity in the American diet remains stronger than ever. With a variety of options, ham meets a lot of different needs for consumers; from an easy ham sandwich to your Sunday dinner, ham always has a place on the table,” she cited in Bord Bia’s latest Food Alert.

“Consumption of bacon is on the rise in the US, with 45 per cent of Americans eating bacon at least twice a week, according to Harry Balzer, vice president and chief industry analyst at the market research firm NPD Group.

“Mintel reports that 70 per cent of US households are buying bacon as part of their regular grocery shopping.

According to Brady, Mintel research in March 2013 showed that in both Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (ROI), bacon is the most commonly purchased type of meat, with 83 per cent of NI and 81 per cent of ROI consumers buying chilled bacon frequently in the past 12 months.

Meanwhile Bord Bia is running a four-week promotional campaign to encourage consumers to switch to ham and bacon with the Bord Bia Quality Mark.

The message is to choose quality-assured ham and bacon when shopping as it is produced to Bord Bia’s highest standards and can be traced back to the farm, it said.    

The campaign will consist of three weeks of TV advertising. This will be supported by two weeks of online advertising on food-related websites and outdoor advertising at shopping centres and supermarkets.

A PR campaign targeting national media has also been launched to coincide with St Patrick’s Day, which will highlight Ireland’s long-established tradition and love of ham and bacon dishes.