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Cooperative funding programs continue to build demand for American lamb

From raising media awareness to grocery retail promotions to prestigious chef events, programs launched under the ALB's Cooperative Funding banner are helping to get American lamb noticed across the country. Both the Matching Grant and the Supplier Cooperative Funding programs are designed to further the goals and objectives of ALB's strategic plan and leverage funds to promote American lamb.

"We recognize that its often tough for businesses to single-handedly bring new products to market and promote current product offerings," said Megan Wortman, Executive Director for the ALB. "Partnering with Supplier and Industry organizations has allowed us to leverage thousands of dollars to promote innovation and growth within our industry."

Designed to fund projects and activities that promote American lamb, both programs require a dollar-for-dollar cash match. The Industry Matching Grant program awards funds to projects and activities that form collaborative partnerships between suppliers, first handlers, retailers, promotions and festivals, research and education entities and foodservice operators while the Supplier Cooperative Funding Program encourages American lamb suppliers to promote American lamb products in the retail and/or foodservice sector.

Prepared lamb dinner generates strong sales

Grocery delis across the country may have a new opportunity for holiday sales, according to the results of a pilot program conducted at the Nugget Market in Northern California and sponsored by the ALB and the California Sheep Commission. Thanksgiving and Christmas pre-cooked meals have grown in popularity over the last few years, and now traditional Easter leg of lamb proved to be a major contender in this category. The pilot recipe, a Greek style dish stuffed with spinach, kalmata olives and feta cheese developed by Nuggets Markets Executive Chef Rachel Levine, was roasted rare so that guests could then simply reheat and enjoy the dish at their desired level of doneness. The program was so successful, one store even sold out of product the day before Easter.

All of these program results are great news for the nation's American lamb industry, who are looking for new opportunities to entice people to enjoy lamb. More than 35 percent of today's consumers have never tried lamb.

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