31 October 2014

Proposed Restrictions Will Harm Tripe Sales

Proposals by the offal industry regulator, OffOffal to restrict the use of social media by limiting the time of day when pictures of raw meat can be promoted threaten to undermine the growing support for tripe, Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle told a meeting of food business analysts yesterday.

Raw tripe - 'beautiful'
The proposals, which would allow pictures of raw liver to be tweeted any time between 8am and 8pm, but would restrict tripe to a narrow period from 3pm to 4pm on weekdays and any time after midnight until 6am, are part of a package of measures which OffOffal says will 'protect potential consumers' and provide a 'level playing field to all offal producers'.

Sir Norman said: "These are draconian measures - a sledgehammer aimed at tripe.  In the seven years we have been tweeting pictures of tripe - both raw and cooked - we have had fewer than 400  complaints and we abide by our own Tripe Code of Social Media Conduct". 

He went on to say it was unfair that tripe was being unfairly singled-out and suggested tougher action on spleen, heart and lungs:  "Raw tripe is actually quite beautiful.  I hope there will be a strong lobby to resist these proposals".

29 October 2014

TMB Apologises For Tripe Baby Picture

The Tripe Marketing Board has apologised to its social media followers after it Tweeted a picture of a 'fake' poster purporting to advertise a 'Win The Weight of Your Baby in Tripe' contest from 1952.  The incident was made all the more embarrassing after the image was re-tweeted more than 700 times in less than 24 hours, making it the most popular tripe-based image on Twitter in the seven years since the TMB took to the social media platform.

Tripe poster a 'fake'
Communications officer Emily French said today: "We received the picture of the poster in all good faith from our resident historian Dr Derek J Ripley, who had been handed it whilst researching the history of tripe in Wigan for his book Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral (which I am pleased to say is available on Amazon).  However, as one or two observant people subsequently pointed out, text in the poster used the popular font Trebuchet, which was not invented until the 1990s". 

An intern working on the TMB's Twitter account was suspended yesterday afternoon following a brief investigation into the incident.  "I'm not sure what the motive behind this prank was, unless it was the work of a militant vegan keen to discredit the work of the TMB," chairman Sir Norman told the Wigan Daily Express in an interview late last night.

Sir Norman said he was disappointed that Dr Ripley had not researched the poster more carefully.  "If Derek had paused to reflect for even a second, he would have realised that the Wigan Daily Mail did not in fact take over the sponsorship of the contest until 1956, and he might have smelled a rat," he said.

26 October 2014

Age Verification Card Will Reduce Customer Embarrassment

The Tripe Marketing Board is to launch a new Age Verification Card, after focus group results showed that many potential consumers are too embarrassed to be seen purchasing tripe in case they were thought to be over 85.

The average age of the typical tripe consumer fell to 73 earlier this year, following concerted media campaigns by the TMB, but chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said there was still much that could be done.

"We want people to be able to buy their tripe without feeling any awkwardness.  The new TripeCard should help if they are ever challenged about their age," he said.

The card was trialled in Bolton over the first three weeks of October, and the Association of Tripe Dressers and Retailers said the initial results had been encouraging.

"This card could help us break through the 70 barrier within a very short time indeed," said Association president Ron Ellis.

24 October 2014

Tripe Dog 2014 Results

TripeDog2014 - results announced today
Months of voting in the Tripe Marketing Board's keenly-contested quest to find the canine face of tripe for 2014 come to a climax today when Sir Norman Wrassle announces the result as part of World Tripe Day 2014 celebrations.

Over 1800 votes have been cast - nearly 700 of them in yesterday's Grand Final - and the results have been kept securely under wraps since they were counted by the TMB's independent scrutineer after the polls closed at 8pm last night.

Sir Norman said: "Even I don't know who the winner is yet!  Until I open that envelope at 1pm, I'm as in the dark as anyone else".

The two finalists - Willy Pongo Coles, a Dachshund from Finedon, Northants and Shadow, a Springer Spaniel from Kent - are relaxing this morning and will both be following their usual morning routines of walks, eating and sleeping until lunchtime.

Sir Norman will announce the results live on local radio - interrupting his visits to tripe retailers at markets across the north west and a planned celebratory tripe lunch at a well-known Lancashire restaurant.

Happy World Tripe Day!

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today begins a busy schedule of personal appearances to celebrate World Tripe Day.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Following visits to tripe retailers in the so-called 'Tripe Triangle' of Bury, Bolton and Blackburn, Sir Norman will move on to Accrington Market, where he will announce the winner of Tripe Dog 2014 - the TMB's keenly-contested quest to find the canine face of tripe for 2014.  In a simultaneous link-up with local radio, the results will also be available live at 1pm today.

Sir Norman said he was looking forward to the day ahead.  "When I first mooted the idea of an international observance day for tripe ten years ago, my colleagues in the offal industry said it could never happen.  Well, we beat heart, liver and spleen to it by a long chalk!  I hope everyone has an enjoyable day.  And that they buy some tripe, obviously".

23 October 2014

TMB chairman's trip "was justified"

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has defended his decision to travel to the USA  to be interviewed by Russ Parsons of the LA Times as part of preparations for World Tripe Day 2014.

Sir Norman was responding to criticism in the latest issue of Offal Monthly, which described the trip as 'unjustified and wasteful' at a time when most meat-based marketing boards were tightening their belts.

Speaking from his Lytham home last night, Sir Norman said: "The TMB has a small budget for this kind of thing.  It isn't unusual at all for me to be interviewed by the world's media.  The only shame about this particular case was that it was actually an e-mail interview, and due to a misunderstanding I didn't discover that until I reached Los Angeles".

Sir Norman said he had used the trip to make unannounced visits to a number of LA restaurants and tripe retailers.  "Fortunately, I also found an internet cafe and was able to complete the interview without any problems," he added.

22 October 2014

Tripe Marketing Board schedule for World Tripe Day 2014

Sir Norman Wrassle's schedule for World Tripe Day 2014
The Tripe Marketing Board has published the official schedule for chairman Sir Norman Wrassle's appearances on World Tripe Day 2014.

The schedule is subject to confirmation, following demonstrations by vegans during the inauguration of World Tripe Day at the House of Commons last year, when Sir Norman was pelted with tofu as he attempted to enter Parliament.

Following visits to tripe retailers in the so-called 'Tripe Triangle' of Bury, Bolton and Blackburn, Sir Norman will move on to Accrington Market, where he will announce the winner of Tripe Dog 2014 - the TMB's keenly-contested contest to find the canine face of tripe for 2014.

Speaking at a press conference in Preston earlier today, Sir Norman said: "Dogs love tripe!  But I would like to underline our key message - tripe is not just for dogs.  Many humans love it too. Nevertheless, I wish the very best of luck to the two contenders in tomorrow's Grand Final.  May the best dog win!"

TripeDog 2014 reaches its climax

The Tripe Marketing Board's Tripe Dog 2014 Grand Final takes place on Thursday, 23 October 2014, with the results being announced the following day on World Tripe Day, and TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has advised tripe retailers to order extra stocks in anticipation of increased demand.

There can only be one Tripe Dog 2014
Sir Norman said: "There has been huge interest in Tripe Dog 2014.  Over 120 dogs entered the contest, and it's all come down to two!"

Voting will take place online via the TMB's website from 8am tomorrow and polls will close at 8pm. Results will be announced at 1pm on Friday, 24 October on BBC Radio.

Sir Norman was speaking after his return from a brief trip to the United States. where he was interviewed by the LA Times to promote World Tripe Day.  "It was very much a case of 'hands across the ocean'.  Tripe is very popular in parts of the USA, and it was exciting to share our plans with tripe lovers over there," Sir Norman said.

Sir Norman confirmed that Tripe Dog finalists would no longer be required to take part in a 'dance-off', following complaints that last year's final was demeaning for the participants.

20 October 2014

Tripe Marketing Board 2015 Diary "close to completion"

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today re-assured tripe retailers that the board's 2015 Diary was close to being completed.  Speaking at a meeting of the Birkdale Ladies' Circle, Sir Norman apologised for the delay in production, which he put down to a last-minute breakdown in negotiations with the Date Marketing Bureau of Tunisia.

Sir Norman said: "After the success of last year's Tripe Marketing Board diary, our colleagues in the Tunisian DMB wanted to increase the fee they charged for the use of their dates.  As the diary contains more than 350 dates, this would have increased the cost of production to a point that made it economically unviable."

He went on to say that he had authorised the TMB's publishing division, TMB Books, to open negotiations with other date suppliers, and he was confident the diary would be published at a price that made it attractive to potential purchasers.

"I'm pleased to say that we have struck a deal with an importer of cheap dates and we'll actually be able to offer the diary at just £4.99 this year.  In a time of austerity, we're doing our bit to help people make ends meet," Sir Norman said.

16 October 2014

"We got carried away" says TMB chairman

The TMB's Free Tripe packages
Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has issued a formal apology for last week's marketing initiative which angered hundreds of households in Blackburn who woke up to find a small package of tripe on their doorstep.

Speaking at a meeting of the Blackburn and Darwen Women's League, Sir Norman was responding to a member of the audience  who had asked "Please can you never release parcels of tripe that are automatically delivered to people's homes ever again? It's really offensive."

"Oops, I'm sorry about that," Sir Norman said.  "I had this beautiful idea to celebrate World Tripe Day 2014 by surprising people with a free sample of tripe.   In retrospect, perhaps it was a little misjudged".

The TMB had also received complaints after packs of stray dogs began gathering in the areas of the town where the marketing drive was focused.

"There’s a lot of noise out there for pork, beef and lamb.  I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it,”  Sir Norman said.

World Tripe Day is celebrated on 24 October 2014.

13 October 2014

World Tripe Day 2014

Preparations are underway to mark the 2nd annual World Tripe Day, which takes place on Friday 24 October 2014.

Local restaurants and gastro pubs are gearing up for what promises to be a bigger and better than ever celebration of tripe, and tripe retailers have been advised to stock up in anticipation of increased demand from the general tripe-buying public.

Speaking at a press conference in Chorley earlier today, Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Last year's inauguration was a huge success and tripe is now firmly planted in the diaries and calendars of thousands of tripe lovers all over the globe.  Initiatives such as our TripeDog 2014 contest and our decision to reduce the price across our range of popular tripe books have all helped to contribute to what we are calling The Move to Tripe".

Poets, musicians and writers are all playing a role in the build-up to the day.  Tripe Poet Laureate Jonathan Humble recited extracts from his The Tripe Hound Of Little Ormstonmere to the audience of Radio 4's Saturday Live programme at the weekend, whilst Dr Derek Ripley put the finishing touches to his research for the Tripe Marketing Board's 2015 Diary.

Sir Norman made special mention of Bill Cawley, author of TMB Books' Tales From The Till, who is due to appear on Radio 4's Counterpoint on Monday 20 October in a bid to reach the semi-final. "I wish Mr Cawley well in his quest. His book is part of our new 'tripe lite' strategy.  More and more people are discovering that it is possible not just to like tripe, but to love it - even if they aren't queuing up to eat it," he said. 

9 October 2014

TMB appoints first US Regional Director

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today announced the appointment of the TMB's first US Regional Director, Mr Matt Bennett.

Mr Matt Bennett
Mr Bennett is an accomplished chef at the Sybaris Bistro, considered by many as one of the finest restaurants in the Willamette Valley in Oregan.

Announcing the appointment, Sir Norman said: "We are delighted to welcome Mr Bennett to our board. As we approach World Tripe Day later this month, this marks a signal that tripe is a dish that is making a comeback not only in the north west of England, but also in the north east of America.  I look forward to adding Oregan to my itinerary of fact-finding tours sometime in the near future".

Mr Bennett said he was pleased to be appointed and would shortly be unveiling a new tripe dish that would take the Willamette Valley by storm.

2 October 2014

Third Quarter 2014 Tripe Sales "Encouraging"

Sir Norman Wrassle
UK third quarter 2014 tripe sales figures were described as "encouraging but disappointing" by Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle today.
Sir Norman welcomed the fact that, although sales had once again fallen, the rate of decline had continued to slow - a fact he put down to the TMB's Tripe Dog 2014 competition, renewed media interest in tripe and unseasonably warm weather.  "Without our Tripe Dog contest, I would be presenting an entirely different set of figures," he told a meeting of the Parbold Womens' League, where he was again guest of honour.

This is the 228th successive quarterly fall in tripe sales, which Sir Norman said only served to underline the need for the Tripe Marketing Board to continue its promotional work.  "Our latest tactic is to embrace a subliminal approach.  We are 'Tweeting' and 'Facebooking' in more inventive ways, and the latest offering from TMB Books only mentions tripe two or three times," he said.

1 October 2014

Tripe price cuts are "strategic response" says TMB chair

The Tripe Marketing Board has denied reports that a recent series of price cuts was a response to lower than expected sales of tripe during the 3rd quarter of 2014.

Sir Norman Wrassle
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle was responding to comments in Offal Monthly that sales of tripe had continued to decline.  "Third quarter figures have not yet been published by the Office of Tripe Consumption, so it is premature to speculate about what is a normal seasonal adjustment of our product prices and a strategic response to the marketplace," Sir Norman said.

Sir Norman said the decision by TMB Books to reduce the price of Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral to just £5.02 meant that customers purchasing the book on Amazon could also buy the TMB's latest publication Tales from the Till for £4.99 and benefit from free postage and packing.

Forgotten Lancashire normally retails for £9.99, so the reduction represents a substantial saving for readers.

"We are doing our best in these tough economic times to ensure that tripe consumers are able to prepare for Christmas by buying our books in the most economical way possible," Sir Norman said.

TMB Books had also reduced the price of one of its other publications, The Lost Films of 20th Century Spatchcock to just £6.99.  Sir Norman said this was neither a seasonal adjustment nor a strategic response, but merely reflected that nobody was buying it when priced at £9.99.