Selling the Sizzle.

Last week we received a performance report that analysed the performance of the 87 leading UK sausage manufacturers. A key point in the report was that 48 of these companies (55%) had seen sales values fall in the latest year.

If the report had showed the sales volumes (not the values) not many would have shown an increase.

However, using AHDB data on household purchases, volume of sausages sold is up 1.1% year on year, and price is up by an average of 11.6%.

Obviously, some manufacturers are doing better than others in a flat market.

What other values do you offer?

Butchers are tremendous innovators; they are always looking for opportunities. At Westaways we love being early adopters of new trends and technology. For the last 5 years we have pioneered plastic free compostable packaging, the timing has been great and coincided with both households and professional caterers looking to be more sustainable. I am sure this has driven our above average sales growth.


It is always frustrating how long it takes to get a key message, or point of difference across to your customers. It takes time and persistence. And this is where Product Information Management or PIM comes in.

When searching online for a purchase, how often are you influenced by the detail or quality of the information that a web site displays on the item. I bought a new camera tripod for shooting video of products. I knew exactly what I needed and was able to find the perfect item. My decision was driven by excellent PIM.

We did some research.

We looked our 10 largest Foodservice customers, and at how they presented detail on sausages in their digital catalogues and online. Those Foodservice companies that had “managed” product information were all in growth, it seems simple. But it is not surprising.

What do you need.

All the statutory information is a prerequisite – Allergens, Ingredients, Storage, Life, Plant number, Weight.

But to give a product the best chance use quality images – these should include your branding, be hi- resolution and normally in 1:1 format. Ask yourself are these images good enough to go in a food magazine? We would normally include a raw product shot, a serving suggestion, an outer case shot with dimensions and more often a video short.

Include details on provenance and supply chain, on welfare, certification and on packaging.

Include words that describe the product as you might see it on a menu. Include tips to get the best from the product.  Use back links to your website, or hyperlinks to supporting data and references.

You have put time care and attention into making a product, you must ensure this digital detail is accurate and of direct use to the end user.


If you are not using a portal such as Brandbank or Erudus, think how this information can be reviewed, controlled, updated, and improved as and when required.

We have a customer in Portugal who uses the slogan “Quality in every detail”, this is exactly right you have to look the business to do the business.