20 June 2014

British tripe must learn lessons from Brazil

Sir Norman Wrassle
Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle says the British tripe industry has "a lot to learn" from its South American counterparts and promised he would be applying the lessons of his fact-finding trip to Brazil on "day one" of his return to Lancashire.

Speaking from Sau Paulo late last night, Sir Norman said: "I want to thank my colleagues at the Brazil Beef Corporation for their hospitality during my brief visit to their country. I've seen lots of tripe here, especially during my visits to Manaus at the weekend.  We've certainly got a lot to learn when it comes to putting tripe back onto the tables of Britain."

Sir Norman's itinerary continues tonight with a private reception organised by local tripe retailers in Recife. "You wouldn't believe some of the distances I've travelled in my quest to promote British tripe in the last week, but I'm looking forward to my return to the UK at the weekend," Sir Norman said.

19 June 2014

TMB reveals new Yorkshire poster campaign

The Tripe Marketing Board's Yorkshire sales initiative started in Ossett earlier today with the unveiling of a new poster aimed at the county's housewives.

The TMB's promotional van in Ossett, near Wakefield, today
Over the next fortnight, the van will tour towns and villages within a 2 mile radius of Wakefield offering free samples of tripe to local people, in an effort to re-kindle a love for tripe that is generations old.

The TMB's head of promotions Mr Ron Champagne said private polling revealed that many people thought tripe was a foodstuff which had all but vanished from many part of Yorkshire, and the campaign was designed to remind people that tripe never really went away.

"Tripe is everywhere - you've just got to look a bit harder for it these days," Mr Champagne said.

18 June 2014

TMB 'Hands Across the Pennines' Campaign launched

Today sees the launch of the Tripe Marketing Board's Hands Across the Pennines campaign in an attempt to reach out to Yorkshire tripe lovers who have for many years complained of being abandoned by tripe.

Ossett Town Hall
The campaign, which will use the social media and more traditional promotions such as adverts at bus stops and stickers on traffic lights at key junctions, kicks off in the town of Ossett, close to Wakefield.

"The TMB has sometimes been accused of being overly-focused on Lancashire but our strategy has always been to re-conquer the heartlands first and foremost.  Now that we are secure in the county that gave Britain tripe, we are confident of crossing the Pennines," chief executive Bryan Atkinson told a press conference yesterday.

Mr Atkinson said Ossett was chosen because it was located in the so-called 'Tripe Triangle' bordered by Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Wakefield and the town contained many residents in the key 65-74 demographic.  "As we reach out to a younger consumer, places like Ossett will be key to our strategy," Mr Atkinson said.

The TMB's message will focus on two main themes: 'Come back to tripe: we never really went away' and 'Be More Cow'.

Last year, the TMB made a lightening visit to Goole in what proved to be a successful attempt to persuade local MP Andrew Percy to give tripe a try, and Mr Atkinson said he had no doubt at all that  the people of West Yorkshire could be persuaded to return to tripe.  The campaign will be overseen by Mr John Murray, the TMB's head of product development and Mel Wilson, regional director for areas south of Cheshire, both of whom were born and bred in Yorkshire.  They will be temporarily seconded to their new roles.

Although no decision has yet been reached, it is understood that the TMB board will be asked to consider  Ossett as a potential host for World Tripe Day 2014 celebrations in October.

Speaking from Belo Horizonte, where he was the guest of Belgian Tripe yesterday, Sir Norman Wrassle said: "It's time for the TMB to demonstrate we aren't just about reviving tripe in Lancaashire.  I understand there are plenty of beautiful places in Yorkshire just waiting for the warm embrace of tripe and our campaign begins in earnest today, in Ossett."

14 June 2014

TMB YouTube video 'goes viral'

A promotional video produced by the Tripe Marketing Board has taken the internet by storm, notching up over 1700 views since it was first uploaded on YouTube less than two years ago.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was "stunned" at the figures, but said it was testimony to the success of the TMB's use of the social media to promote tripe.

"We may not have the audience of someone like Psy or Justine Bieber, but in offal terms, this video is proving to be something of a hit!" Sir Norman said.  He was speaking at a Brazil Beef Corporation reception for world offal producers held in Manaus this afternoon.

Sir Norman was applauded when he told guests that the TMB was unique amongst meat marketing agencies represented on Twitter  in attracting support not only from tripe lovers but also from vegetarians, vegans and dogs.   He said the TMB would be encouraging more UK tripe retailers to embrace the social media, and he pointed to the success of @LetsTripe and @thetripeshop as examples to be followed.

13 June 2014

Free TRIPE magazine distribution suspended

Picture courtesy of Darwen Argus
Plans by the Tripe Marketing Board to distribute free copies of TRIPE magazine to 2,000 households in East Lancashire have been 'put on hold' after Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was pictured quoting from a copy at a meeting of vegans in Somerset earlier today.

Mr Clegg was using the publication to challenge vegans to drop what he called "the dour face of veganism" and to adopt the strategy of the Tripe Marketing Board, which he said was slowly converting vegetarians and now had vegans firmly in their sight.  He pointed to the TMB's use of humour as a weapon and said he thought vegans had a lot to learn.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle learned of Mr Clegg's remarks at lunchtime and immediately called a halt to the TMB's plans to post free copies of TRIPE to selected homes in Blackburn.  Speaking from Rio de Janeiro airport, where he is en route to Manaus as a guest of the Brazil Beef Corporation, Sir Norman said: "I don't want to risk people burning this magazine in the street or sending it back to us at our cost, so it's probably best if we delay this campaign for a few weeks to let the dust settle."

TMB head of promotions Mr Ron Champagne said he was disappointed that the campaign was being postponed. "TRIPE is normally only read by a few dozen people working in the tripe preparation and retail sector, but we thought we'd gauge the interest of the ordinary man in the street.  Once they see it in Mr Clegg's hands, though, we doubt they'll be interested."

12 June 2014

Stay Cool As Temperatures Soar

Sir Norman Wrassle

With Lancashire basking in temperatures in the low 20s and expected to soar to as high as 25 degrees by the end of the week, Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has re-issued the following advice to tripe lovers in Lancashire on how to keep cool:

1. Let the fire go out or switch off the central heating,

    if you have it
2. Open all the windows
3. Take off your thermal underwear

“We are not accustomed to this sort of weather in the north west so it is important that we follow these few simple ground rules in order to keep cool,” said Sir Norman. “I am pleased that so many young men are walking round our towns and cities with their tops off and I suggest older people follow their example. But please do not do this at work as this may cause offence.”

Sir Norman emphasised that this advice does not apply to women or to people who live in Carlisle, where temperatures are expected to stay close to freezing for a week or two more.

Sir Norman said people who are still struggling with the heat despite following the guidelines should follow this additional advice: "Simply put a small sheet of tripe in the fridge and allow it to chill overnight. Place it on your forehead and secure with blu-tack or sellotape. This will keep you cool for at least 10 minutes. When it is no longer cold, simply pop it back in the fridge and repeat the process."

11 June 2014

TMB to review Twitter campaign

Sir Norman Wrassle
The Tripe Marketing Board is to undertake an urgent review of its social media strategy after a study by independent media analysts Boogle Johanson Swift revealed fundamental weaknesses in how tripe was being perceived by users of Twitter.

The study suggests that fewer than 0.2% of the 4,200 followers of the TMB's @TripeUK had ever eaten tripe and, of these, fewer than a quarter  would eat it again.

Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle called the figures "disappointing" and promised a root-and-branch review of how the TMB engaged with the social media.  "These figures - if they are correct - suggest we are missing the target by a wide margin and might begin to explain why tripe consumption continues to fall despite our improved showing on Twitter and Facebox," he told a meeting of tripe retailers in Preston yesterday.

The study also examined sales of the TMB's publishing division, launched in 2012 to promote tripe in unusual and inventive ways - often subliminally.  Sir Norman called the figures "disappointing" but said the market for humorous history books was uncharted territory for the TMB.  "It's too early to tell if people are reading these books, but my chauffeur claims to have seen someone leafing through a copy of The Lost Films of 20th Century Spatchcock in the Preston branch of WH Smith, so there is hope yet," he said.

10 June 2014

TMB cancels Better Together campaign

Sir Norman Wrassle
The Tripe Marketing Board has announced the immediate suspension of its Better Together campaign promoting the association of tripe and onions as a classic British dish.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle told a hastily-convened press conference in Liverpool that, in retrospect, the initiative was "completely misjudged" and said he blamed advertising agency McDougallDarlingBrown for the poor execution of the campaign.

Sir Norman said: "When the posters were launched yesterday, we had no idea that the Better Together slogan was also being used by people in Scotland who are opposed to independence.  I have ordered its immediate suspension as there is a real danger that people might associate our fine product with the ill-conceived campaign against independence."

He went on to outline the work the TMB had done over the last few years to rehabilitate tripe as an inexpensive food that can play an important part in a balanced diet.  "It would be disastrous if, at this stage, that work was undone because of a heavy-handed political campaign north of the border," he said.

9 June 2014

TMB launches Better Together campaign

The TMB's 'Better Together' campaign
The Tripe Marketing Board has launched a joint campaign with the Onion Council to re-invigorate demand for Britain's classic tripe dish.

The campaign - the first time the TMB has collaborated with the Onion Council since 1963 - is designed to lift sales of two products which have a long association of being combined.

Speaking at the unveiling of the poster that will spearhead the initiative today, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "I'm confident this will strike a chord with people and I want to thank our new advertising agency McDougallDarlingBrown for the vision they have brought to this work."

5 June 2014

Scottish independence "good news" for tripe

The TMB's forthcoming poster campaign for independence
The Tripe Marketing Board has approved a campaign to support the establishment of an independent Scottish tripe industry, following high-level talks between the TMB and Scottish Tripe, the trade organisation for tripe producers in Scotland.

The move follows months of delicate negotiations led by a specially-appointed envoy, film actor Mr Sean Combover.

"The decision is bound to be seen as controversial in some quarters.  But the agreement we've reached means that the TMB will continue to be responsible for marketing tripe in Scotland - and that's got to be good news for tripe," TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said.

Speaking at a hastily-convened press conference in Lytham yesterday, Sir Norman denied that the decision was a departure from the TMB's well-established position of political neutrality.  "It's nonsense to suggest that the TMB has somehow encroached on party politics with this move.  This is a purely pragmatic move on our part.  Tripe - along with other foods such as porridge and deep-fried Mars bars - is a staple part of the diet of many people in Scotland and we're delighted we'll still be charged with marketing it there."

4 June 2014

Tripe celebrates improvement in customer satisfaction

Tripe is now more popular among consumers than liver, according to a list of the Top 10 Most Disliked foods published yesterday by the Glasgow Evening Times.

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle called the result "stunning" and said it boded well for the TMB's ambitious aim to make 2015 the Year of Tripe.  Speaking at a meeting of the East Lancashire Businesswomen's Guild, he said the results - which were unexpected - would need further analysis before the TMB embarked on its summer campaign.

Tripe was ranked no 7 in the list - just behind liver.

"If it's true and we have indeed overtaken liver, then this is tremendous news for tripe!  Only anchovies, avocado and blue cheese did better than us and let's face it, they are easy targets," Sir Norman said.

The TMB would consider throwing its weight behind an anti-avocado advertising campaign to see whether it was possible to jump two places to the no 9 position, but Sir Norman conceded that it probably wasn't possible for tripe to drop out of the list entirely.  "I can't see that happening this year - but 12 months is a long time in the food retailing game, so I wouldn't rule it out completely," he said.

2 June 2014

Tripe now "firmly established" on social media

Tripe is now firmly rooted in every aspect of the social media and the Tripe Marketing Board is well placed to move forward in its quest to make 2015 the Year of Tripe, chairman Sir Norman Wrassle told a gathering of key staff and board members today.

Sir Norman was speaking at an impromptu meeting in Preston, called to celebrate the TMB attracting its 4000th "follower" on Twitter.  The milestone meant that @TripeUK was now officially the most popular offal-based Twitter account in Europe.

According to an analysis by the TMB's communications office, tripe has now overtaken every other offal account - including the Spleen Council's (@BritishSpleen).

Sir Norman Wrassle
The full figures as of 3pm this afternoon were:

@BritishSpleen  3984
@WeHeartHeart (UK Heart Council) 458
@HmmmmLiver 2569
@TripeUK  4007
@EuroIntestine 3583

The figures are all the more remarkable as it is known that over 20% of @TripeUK's followers are vegetarian.  More recently, a number of vegans - traditionally the most hostile towards tripe - have begun to follow the TMB account.

Sir Norman said: "It's a proud day for British tripe. We're firmly established not just on Twitter, but on other platforms such as Facebox and Instagran. We've even got our own YouTube channel, which is more than can be said for our colleagues in British Liver!"

He went on to say: "I'll be the first to admit that I was sceptical about our prospects in the social media when we launched our campaign two years ago.  But you can't argue with the figures, and I've today authorised the recruitment of further interns to strengthen our presence."

Jurt Gonsvig, operations director at the European Office of Tripe Consumption, extended his congratulations to the TMB during a flying visit to Preston earlier today. "The Tripe Marketing Board is certainly leading the way in using the social media to promote its product. It's possibly too early to say what the effect of this will be on sales of offal in the UK, but we will monitor consumption carefully and share any lessons with other producers," Mr Gonsvig said.

 Sir Norman said he was "delighted" that more and more people were Choosing Tripe.  He told a representative of the Chorley Examiner: "Tripe and Twitter - it's a marriage made in heaven!"


1 June 2014

Tripe sales down

UK first quarter 2014 tripe sales figures were described as "disappointing but encouraging" by TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle yesterday.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Sir Norman said: "Although sales have again fallen, which is of course somewhat disappointing, the rate of decline continues to slow and this must be seen as encouraging."

This is the 226th successive quarterly fall in tripe sales, which Sir Norman attributed to an over-exposure of tripe in the media.  

Tripe had featured in a number of TV cookery programmes over the last three months and analysis by the TMB concluded that this had harmed sales.  Sir Norman explained that tripe wasn't the best looking meat on the butcher's block and that the TMB would be looking for more radio coverage in the months ahead:  "The less people know what tripe looks like, the more we have a chance of piquing their interest," he said.

The TMB's forthcoming World Cup Tripe recipe campaign could be key to reversing the trend.   "I'm increasingly optimistic that we're going to turn the corner," Sir Norman said.

World Cup can boost tripe sales

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has called on tripe retailers to use the forthcoming World Cup to increase sales of tripe.

Speaking at last night's gala dinner of the Morecambe Women's Circle, he described World Cup 2014 as a "once in a liftetime opportunity to promote tripe" and said he expected sales to rise during the tournament.

"The last five decades have been a difficult time for tripe.  But the World Cup is traditionally a time when people take an interest in the cultures of different nations.  Thousands of Britons will be traveling to South America to follow the team.  We hope they'll be coming back with their jaded appetites refreshed by the taste of tripe in Brazil and that they'll want to encourage their wives to experiment," Sir Norman said.

The TMB would be circulating special 'World Cup Recipe' cards to its retailers, starting with one for Dobradinha, a popular tripe dish from Brazil.

Sir Norman told his audience: "Since it's such a difficult word to pronounce,  if they just ask for a Brazilian our retailers will sort them out."