Nov 4, 2021
As the weather warms here in New Zealand, over in Europe, the autumn colours have arrived and along with it the game season. Customers from Europe are reporting good demand for chilled venison, however shipping issues and the high cost of airfreight has constrained the volume of chilled venison shipped to Europe. Our European customers are reporting that frozen venison in market is selling well which will help to reduce stock levels in Europe. DINZ chef Shannon Campbell visited a wholesaler to check out the New Zealand product available in the market, check out his video to see what he discovered.
Our European importers have ramped up venison promotions over the last couple of weeks as the game season starts. This includes, for the first time since 2019, in-store tastings and events at supermarkets. One such event was a gourmet product evening at a Akzenta supermarket in Germany. Working with importer Prime Meat, Shannon prepared venison samples for VIP customers, who were invited to try some of the premium products available. Below is a short video clip of the event (the venison stand is at the very end). Shannon has also been in the UK, Belgium and Sweden working with importers and their customers.
DINZ is also working with a popular cooking app and website company Kitchen Stories to promote venison during the game season. Kitchen Stories has millions of users in Germany and is a recipe library/social network allowing users to share their own dishes and photos of dishes they cook. This week the Kitchen Stories team have shot venison recipe videos including a modern take on a traditional goulash which is being promoted to users in the coming weeks.
Over in the US, importers continue to report a ‘steady’ recovery of the food service sector, and as they continue to push their new retail accounts. The export data for September shows that while chilled volumes have not yet returned to pre-covid levels, average export values are lifting. September values are up 10% year on year – which is assisting with the higher schedule companies are paying.
Winter will again be a test for the US. Currently the vaccination rate is sitting at around 60%, well short of the 80% target. US States are currently working through rules around vaccine passports for indoor dining. Key markets of California, Colorado and the East Coast (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) require proof of vaccination for indoor dining along with mask wearing.
The markets are certainly improving and we look forward to the recovery of the venison schedule. But keep in close contact with your venison company about their expectations.
A bit closer to home we had two recipes for New Zealand farm-raised venison featured in the New Zealand Women’s Weekly. We also have great videos of the dishes being prepared on our Facebook page - New Zealand Venison. If you are not our friend on Facebook, please join and share our content with your friends and family.