Venison in demand

Healthy eating helps Highland Game secure £2m delivery deal

Venison is growing in popularity

Scottish wild venison supplier, Highland Game, has secured a partnership with the UK’s largest recipe box company, Gousto, the first time the firm has partnered with a recipe box or meal delivery provider.

Together with increased distribution with UK wholesale partners Costco, Booker and Brakes , the deal is worth almost £2 million in sales to the company over the next 12 months.

The Gousto partnership launches UK-wide on Wednesday and Dundee-based Highland Game will supply more than 20,000 meals over a two-week period.

The announcement follows news in September of Highland Game securing increased distribution with retail partners Tesco and Morrisons worth over £1 million.

Managing director and founder of Highland Game, Christian Nissen, said health-conscious consumers looking for a sustainable, low-fat alternative to red meat have driven demand for venison over the past five to 10 years.

“It’s our vision to make venison available the length and breadth of the UK. None of our success would be possible without the integrated approach we have 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.”

Ten years ago, roughly 95% of Highland Game’s domestically produced venison was exported overseas, with the rest sold through select butchers and delicatessens. Today, 75% of Highland Game’s produce is sold domestically to key retailers and wholesalers. 

Mr Nissen added: “The current business climate is a difficult one, including the ongoing lack of clarity over future UK trading arrangements.

“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 and increase awareness and demand for this sustainable product.

“Together, we can and will continue to grow this market even further and ensure venison remains a Scottish success story.”  

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