Dundee-based wild venison supplier Highland Game has secured a new partnership with recipe box firm Gousto, and boosted distribution with UK wholesale partners Costco, Booker and Brakes worth almost £2 million in sales to the company over the next 12 months.
The meat firm is this week launching UK-wide with Gousto – billed as the UK’s largest recipe box company – and will supply more than 20,000 meal offerings over a two-week period of its Christmas venison and camembert burgers, made from sustainable, wild Scottish venison.
Highland Game said the tie-up marks the first time it has partnered with a recipe box or meal delivery provider, agreeing a further contract to supply venison steaks the week before Christmas.
Meanwhile, over the next year it will increase supply of its venison fillets, steaks, diced meat, burgers and sausage range to its UK wholesale partners to meet a surge in demand for what it says is a low-fat, lean source of protein and healthy alternative to red meat. The announcement follows news in September that Highland Game had secured increased distribution with retail partners Tesco and Morrisons worth more than £1m.
Managing director and founder Christian Nissen said: “Alongside our partners in wholesale, food service, retail and export, we’ve been working hard to widen appeal for venison and raise awareness of this healthy, sustainable meat protein.
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“While the Christmas venison and camembert burgers are on the indulgent side, health-conscious consumers looking for a sustainable, low-fat alternative to red meat has steadily increased demand for venison over the past five to ten years.
“It’s our vision to make venison available the length and breadth of the UK, and now – thanks to these increased supply deals – consumers can easily get venison online, at wholesale or in retail from Lerwick to Land’s End.”
He also highlighted the “integrated” approach it has taken over the past 20 years working in collaboration with Forestry Land Scotland and more than 200 private estates.
He said: “Together, we’ve built a robust supply chain which is supported by an ethical and sustainable deer-management programme that protects the welfare of the animals and limits the environmental impact of the industry.
“External uncertainty of any type is always hard for business, however over the past few years we’ve worked with our public and private sector partners to develop the UK market for venison… Together, we can and will continue to grow this market even further and ensure venison remains a Scottish success story.”
Andrew Lewis, buying director at Gousto, said: “At Gousto, we pride ourselves on delivering mealtime inspiration to families across the UK.” He hailed the deal to introduce two new venison products to its customers.
Highland Game also noted that ten years ago, about 95 per cent of its domestically produced venison was exported overseas with the rest sold through select butchers and delis. Today, 75 per cent of its produce is sold domestically to retailers and wholesalers.