Meat free sausages

Getting more sizzle from your sausage

6 Nov 2009

“Issues hijacking”, “media monitoring”, call it what you will. Providing a timely response to breaking news or making an interesting comment on a topical issue will help you get coverage. Some people have to be taught this technique, others just do it naturally.

My friend, an entrepreneur not a PR, falls squarely into this latter category. This week she provided a brilliant example of how to harness the news agenda to gain publicity for her business.

I have known Lisa Drummy since our University days, when she was a committed vegetarian and spoke passionately about animal welfare. She still holds to those principles, is now a vegan and ten years ago set up Beanies: a vegan and vegetarian food import business.  Since then Lisa and her father have imported and distributed FRY’s range of vegetarian burgers; schnitzels; vegetarian chicken nuggets and vegetarian sausages and secured the sole UK distribution rights for the B’Nice range of dairy free rice ice cream. Beanies has worked extremely hard to raise awareness of the products that it distributes. The Beanies team has attended vegetarian and vegan trade shows; entered and won vegetarian food awards; written columns in the vegetarian and ethical lifestyle magazines and given press interviews. However, this latest example of Beanies’ publicity was a master stroke.

The 2nd November marked the start of British Sausage Week, which has the goal of raising awareness and persuading UK consumers to look for the British Quality Standard Mark (QSM) on their pork sausages. The QSM denotes that higher standards of animal welfare, traceability of ingredients and quality control were used in the manufacture of sausages.  You can hear Paul Daniels explaining all in a podcast here:

So it was with some delight that I tuned into Chris Evans’ show on Radio 2 on Tuesday 3rd November to hear Lisa Drummy introducing a taste test. Yes FRY’s vegetarian sausages, burgers and nuggets were being pitted against pork sausages, beef burgers and chicken nuggets. Chris was at pains to point out that this was a test of “tastiness” not a test of whether FRY’s products tasted like meat. Lisa pointed out that FRY’s is aimed at the “meat reduction” market:  people (like me) who are considering cutting down on their meat intake and looking for tasty meat substitutes to combine into their normal diet.  Having tried the FRY’s schnitzels at one of the many trade shows that Beanies attends, I can vouch for the tastiness. They are fabulous and would certainly help anyone looking to follow Dr Rajendra Pachauri’s advice to have one meat free day a week to help cut the global carbon dioxide emissions associated with animal rearing and meat production

You can listen to the FRY’s taste off with Lisa Drummy from Beanies on iPlayer until 10th November. Lisa’s interview starts at the 1hr 15 minute mark.

All I can say is that’s one tasty bit of coverage for Beanies and a splendid example of issues hijacking.