The 'Covid hangover' looms large over all aspects of the food and hospitality industry at present. Though pressures are easing and there are solid inquiries
Of primary concern to most front-line restaurants, hotels and retailers are staffing issues. The "Great Resignation," as the phenomenon is known, continues, and almost all operators are short-staffed. Food cost inflation is currently setting records. In addition, the challenges in the physical distribution of goods to the end-user are increasing operator costs and putting pressure on bottom lines across the industry.
Much of the time, this means more limited menu offerings, limiting service hours, or limiting the number of reservations accepted.
On a positive note, the protein price inflation seen in the major meat categories presents an opportunity for Venison. Beef and Lamb, for example, sit in the middle of the 'competitive set' with Venison, and all must vie for a place on the menu or in the butcher counter.
The current record prices of Lamb & Beef, along with faltering availability, mean that Venison is now a value proposition for the operator.
Having spent nearly 20 years growing commercial relationships with the best distribution partners in North America, we are well placed to provide Venison as the menu solution in this challenging environment!
Continued delays in ocean-freight cargo deliveries and the cost (fuel pricing) and availability of truck transport within the USA means managing logistics is taking a disproportionate amount of time in the day.
Still, there is a sense that some of those pressures are beginning to ease.
April and May are traditionally our 'quieter' months between the end of Winter and the start of the Summer season. However, this year, we are seeing early solid inquiries from our distributors who want to ensure they can secure stocks for the strong Summer resort business they believe is coming.
Airline flights are packed again, hotels are fully booked, and our mission continues to deliver the best meat in the world to these discerning consumers!
New Owners for D'Artagnan - Long-time New Jersey-based Mountain River Venison Distributor
In April, it was announced that 'Fortune International, LLC,' a leading processor, distributor, and importer of high-quality seafood, meats, and gourmet products, had acquired D'Artagnan. D'Artagnan is the USA leader in popularizing the sustainable "farm to table" movement over the last 35 years and a valued Mountain River Venison distribution partner over the previous 20 years.
Founded in 1985 by Ariane Daguin, D'Artagnan supplies free-range meats and all-natural organic poultry, game, foie gras, mushrooms, and truffles within the United States. Customers include the most renowned restaurants and retailers and increasingly 'direct to consumers through their fast-growing ECommerce platform.
The company employs approximately 260 people and runs 80 trucks working from five primary operations in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, and Texas.
Ariane was inducted into James Beard Foundation's "Who's Who in Food & Beverage" in 1994, received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from Bon Appetit Magazine in 2005, and was awarded "Forbes Small Giants" recognition in 2018. She will remain with D'Artagnan, and the company will continue to operate as a subsidiary of Fortune Fish & Gourmet.
Ariane commented in trade news: "I am extremely excited for D'Artagnan's future and want to thank our customers and vendors for their support through all these years."
This successful transaction results from decades of hard work by Ariane and her team to create a 'best-in-class' business. It is a wonderful testament to her vision and leadership. We wish her well and look forward to maintaining our friendship for years to come.