20 February 2016

Tripe sales 'not rising' says TMB chairman

UK tripe sales have continued to fall and it will take "years - perhaps decades - of patient, promotional activity" to reverse the trend.

This was the sobering message delivered by Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle to a meeting of the North West Federation of Offal Processors in Blackburn, earlier today.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Sir Norman was responding to an article in the February 2016 issue of Offal Monthly, which had accused the TMB of deliberately manipulating tripe consumption figures to suggest consumption was falling.  According to the journal's survey of abattoirs, tripe sales had been rising since the summer of 2015, but Sir Norman dismissed the figures as "unrepresentative, unscientific and unhelpful".

Pointing to the TMB's own research, which included consumer focus groups and phone polls of tripe retailers, restaurants and dog food processors, he said that tripe consumption continued to fall and that the industry had not yet turned the corner.

In response to audience questions, Sir Norman denied that the TMB had scaled down its promotional activity over the last two months.  "There is in fact some evidence to suggest that a lower public profile actually benefits the product. The more people see tripe in the press and social media, the less they are inclined to buy it," he said.  He blamed a reduced presence on Twitter and Facebook on staffing difficulties, flooding in the north west and an administrative oversight which had led to an unpaid broadband bill at the TMB's Preston HQ.

"Those who suggest that somehow we have a vested interest in people not buying tripe really don't understand the tripe industry," Sir Norman said, promising continued investment in new products such as artisan, crafted tripe which the TMB's product development division had been working on for a number of years.