Tuesday, 20 October 2015 14:10

New Zealand venison a hit in the Netherlands

Written by 

Deer Industry New Zealand says the northern summer trial promotion of Cervena venison in the Netherlands went down well with chefs and their customers.

"For the first time, our venison was sold as a spring-summer grilling item to 1200 Dutch restaurants. It was clearly branded as mild-flavoured farmed Cervena venison from New Zealand to differentiate it from wild game which normally only appears on menus in late autumn and winter," says DINZ Passion2Profit manager Innes Moffat.

During the trial, First Light Foods sold 15,000 kg of Cervena at normal chilled venison prices – just above the level of prime European beef. This is much more than the normal price of venison in Europe in the northern summer, where imports are normally frozen and held for sale in the game season.

The trial began in March and ended in September. One distributor, Hanos, led the trial from the Dutch side, and the five Cervena exporters and DINZ are sharing the feedback.

If the trial is continued in 2016 as expected, it will be expanded to involve other NZ venison exporters and their importers and distributors in Netherlands and Belgium.

"DINZ and exporters are trying to grow year-round demand for our venison at chilled prices in new markets and new segments of existing markets," says Moffat.

The promotion is part of the Passion2Profit strategy, a Primary Growth Partnership programme between DINZ and the MPI.

"In the Netherlands, we are aiming to create a new segment outside their game season. So we need to position Cervena as a novel product. To reinforce this and to maximise value from the whole animal, five new cuts were trialled this year. Three of these struck a real chord – shoulder tenders, spare ribs and tri-tips." (Tri-tips are the caps of the rump.)

There have been many lessons from the trial.

"Where chefs made a feature of Cervena, it sold well and the feedback from diners was overwhelmingly positive. Where it was sold with game meat associations it didn't sell well," says Moffat.

The greatest success was in restaurants selling Cervena as part of a fixed menu. Diners tried it, liked the experience and the feedback was very positive.

"One of our biggest successes was demonstrating that we can get Cervena venison, out-of-season, into chefs' heads and that they will buy it. The chefs who backed Cervena came back with repeat orders ... with some selling more than 150 kg over the summer. Their feedback on quality was unanimously positive."

Concurrently with the Hanos promotion, Silver Fern Farms' Dutch importer and distributor promoted Cervena to its chef network with co-funding from DINZ. The results from this trial, which was also well received, will be supplied to the five participating exporters for analysis.

The five venison marketing companies will now analyse the sales data and reports from chefs to determine how an expanded promotion in 2016 will assist the industry sell more chilled venison at premium prices year-round in Europe.

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

Making it OK to ask for help

Meat processing company Alliance has started an employee support programme aimed at getting colleagues to look after each other and keep an eye out for possible mental health issues.

Hort export figures challenged

Horticulture's export revenue growth is likely to be about 10% in the current financial year – not the 3.8% forecast by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

15 years of growth

Back in 2004 when Chris Yorke sent out his first New Zealand Winegrower press release, New Zealand wine had reached $300 million worth of exports. His final press release before leaving NZW, announced our wine exports had reached $1.8 billion.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

 

Proper training beats learning on the hoof

New Zealand's first professional dairy cow hoof trimmer has fulfilled a long-held dream, setting up a training institute to bring internationally recognised standards of hoofcare to the industry.

FE researchers aim to raise awareness

Facial eczema in dairy cattle can cause significant production losses without visible symptoms, says a new group formed to raise awareness of the disease.

» Connect with Rural News

» Connect with Rural News

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Useless

The Hound notes that one of the country’s poorest financially performing state-owned enterprises – the Government farming entity Landcorp (or…

Rural revolt

Your old mate hears that the antics of the Government – especially the NZ First component – are fuelling motivation…

» Connect with Rural News