Supermarket giant Coles has boosted its range of Graze brand premium grassfed lamb products in time to cash in on the traditional Australia Day holiday rush for barbecue meats.
Coles launched the Graze brand early last year in conjunction with a group of dedicated suppliers from Tasmania.
The supermarket said the new offering had proved so successful that new products had been added to the range this year including lamb fillets ($47 a kilogram), backstraps ($45/kg), marinated shoulder ($30/kg), Frenched shanks ($18/kg) and extra trim cutlets ($50/kg).
Coles predicts it will sell more lamb this week than at any other time of year with sales of chops increasing by 20 per cent compared with December 2020.
Its general manager for meat Charlotte Gilbert said Graze lamb offered customers a high quality, grassfed option and the range had helped reinvigorate Coles' lamb offer.
"We sell over 20 million kilograms of lamb each year, so we know our customers already love lamb," she said.
"Grassfed meat is sought after by chefs for its trusted premium quality, natural taste and high Omega-3 content, and we were delighted to be the first retailer to offer grassfed lamb for our customers to enjoy at home."
She said the introduction of Graze lamb had created a new market for 65 Tasmanian producers and Coles was expecting to lift the number of lambs purchased from 100,000 to 180,000 in 2021.
Third-generation farmers Lauchie and Sarah Cole, who operate a 1000-hectare mixed farm in Tasmania's Northern Midlands said the Apple Isle was the perfect place to produce quality grassfed lamb.
"When given the opportunity to participate in the Coles Graze Tasmanian lamb program we were 100 per cent committed.
"The program provides us surety to supply and the ability to lock in price and quantities allowing us to manage commodity price risk and of course the opportunity to support a Tasmanian branded program, influencing consumers to choose a sustainable grass-fed product," they said.
"To see our lamb flourish in such a pristine environment prior to processing provides the Coles Graze brand confidence in our promise and charter to supply what consumers are searching for."
Coles launched the Graze program for grassfed beef in 2014 in consultation with the Cattle Councilof Australia based on the principles in the Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System (PCAS).
Under the Coles Graze program farmers must meet high standards in animal husbandry and pasture management which are independently assessed.
Cattle and lamb can't be fed grain to supplement their diet or be treated with antibiotics to supply stock for the brand.
The new Graze lamb fillets will be available at 171 stores, backstraps in 454 stores, marinated shoulder at 385 stores, Frenched shanks at 256 stores and the extra trim cutlets at 579 stores.
The Graze lamb mince will be on sale at 802 stores, shoulder roast at 810 stores, boneless lamb leg roast at 803 stores, lamb loin chops at 733 stores.