Lucas – Ready for Any Event
During Summer – especially a Summer like we’re enjoying this year, it’s a tricky one to have to start thinking about Autumn, but every retail butcher knows, that’s exactly what we have to do. With the barbecue season over, butchers need to turn their thoughts to perhaps being a bit more creative and even adventurous in order to keep customers’ interest.
Whilst many butchers offer ready meals in their outlets, many do not and that could be for a number of reasons: lack of space, lack of storage, local competition, but more often, the idea that preparing ready meals is time-consuming and difficult. All of these reasons are, of course, valid, with the exception of the final point. Working with Lucas, more and more butchers are discovering that it’s actually very easy to add ready meals to their product ranges and there’s no doubt that ready meals are very profitable.
The introduction of ready meals doesn’t have to be a huge event, or effort. Starting with a few simple additions like trays of flavoured mashed potato, a side-vegetable, or perhaps a sausage and sauce-based pasta dish you can soon build up a core offering. Combine these with your regular items such as pies, pasties and meal-centre meats you’ll soon create a variety of choices for your customers.
Speaking of pies and pasties, Autumn can be a great time to introduce new flavours and add more variety to your pastry products. Something a bit more spicy is often welcome, as it’s perceived to be warming and whilst those traditional savoury flavours are somehow very comforting, it’s a great time to shake things up a bit with the addition of fresh ingredients like cheeses, vegetables, or using different meat combinations. Customers might also perceive that they’re getting more value for their money – an aspect that becomes increasingly important.
And thank goodness, people do like to snack! Snacking presents a host of opportunities for butchers to really get creative. Mini pies, scotch eggs, sausage rolls, charcuterie meats, sharing platters all come into their own. A selection of coated chicken goujons couldn’t be easier to produce; they look fantastic on the counter and they’re perfect for sharing on a night in watching TV. All you have to do is build your display to encourage your customers to be tempted. The (no longer) humble sausage roll presents the perfect opportunity for variety, simply by making yours with different flavours of sausage mix: Likewise with Scotch Eggs. Furthermore, they can be large or small, depending upon how you’re presenting them.
At Lucas, we spend a huge amount of time perfecting new recipe ideas, getting creative with our mixes and ingredients and generally doing our best to ensure we can offer you, our butcher customer, the opportunity to make some serious sales. Our website is a fantastic source of inspiration and is loaded with information that’s easy to access and we hope, will help to get you ready for Autumn after a busy, busy Summer.