The pork industry is spending a massive £2.5 million on a television advertising campaign promoting the 'health benefits' of red meat.
The campaign starts during January - which has seen the most successful Veganuary ever with almost 300,000 sign-ups so far. It also follows polls showing that more young people are starting to ditch meat.
The advertising is being driven by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) which represents farmers. According to the AHDB, previous phases of the advertising generated 'millions of pounds' of sales.
"We know January is a key time of year when people focus on health," Research is running to track results of the latest phase of the campaign. Liam Byrne, AHDB's Head of Meat Marketing, said. "To tap into that drive, we’ve collaborated with reality TV star Lucy Mecklenburgh, and personal trainer Cecilia Harris to help inspire people to cook pork as they try new healthy meals.
"In addition to the prime-time TV advertising slots, we've scheduled adverts to appear alongside programmes to target a younger audience. These include shows like ITV2's American Dad, Family Guy and football fixtures such as the FA Cup third round.
"For the foodies, a spot has also been secured during Jamie & Jimmy's Friday Night Feast, so we're really helping our pork producers sell cuts including loin medallions and steaks through a variety of advertising methods."
Young people ditching meat
The big advertising spend follows multiple polls which show more people - especially the younger generation - are ditching meat. A 2018 poll of 2,000 people by YouGov found that around one in five adults aged between 18 and 24 think people will stop eating meat completely by 2030.
In addition, almost 8 million British residents - around 12 percent of the population - identify as vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian according to research by Harris Interactive for food trade journal The Grocer. A further one in four is set to cut their meat intake over the next year, says the survey. According to the data, 18-44-year-olds are the most likely to have stopped eating animals.
Harris Head of Research, Lucia Juliano said: "It isn't surprising that young consumers are thinking about changing their ways. But the over-55s aren't so concerned - 80 per cent of them plan to make no change."