This market activity is part of our programme for expanding retail sales of venison in the USA market, building on the longstanding relationship between Terra Pacific and the Force Of Nature team.
Angus Cleland at Terra Pacific summarised recent developments in the US market in our June Community Meeting:
With consumers compelled to cook at home during Covid, they proved willing to experiment and try new and different proteins. This helped introduce venison to new consumers.
Sales of ‘Ground’ venison & Elk at retail has been very strong over Covid. The consumer adherence to ‘seasonal consumption’ seems to have broken, as the public discover the great flavour from venison as a lean healthy meat which has “all season” applications. The ‘Gourmet Burger’ revolution is underway.
Once introduced to venison in the familiar ‘ground’ form, the expectation is that consumers will then try whole muscle cuts and move up the value chain.
Thanks to the investment of Force Of Nature and others, consumers are finding Game meats increasingly available at national retail chains like Albertsons & Kroger. This will further encourage sales at restaurants & home delivery platforms.
Force Of Nature has taken a clear regenerative market positioning. Their Instagram description says "We partner with regenerative ranchers to bring you the best meat on the planet, for the planet." And this is clearly working for them as they are growing at a rate of 300% per annum. They are now approaching 7,000 distribution points just in retail, have a food service presence and an online presence.
In our most recent Community Meeting, Robby Sanson, the co-founder, CEO and Land Steward, highlighted a list of prominent grocery chains in the States they have been able to get to in only a couple of years. Robby noted that consumers are interested in new and innovative types of proteins that Mountain River farmers are providing them. He went on to say they're also interested in the values behind the venison, saying it is the combination of those two things and the timing, that is really working well for us and it's really important as we go forward.
Robby Sanson went on to explain the brand they are developing. We call it Force Of Nature for a reason. It invokes an emotion. It's really about protein and food as nature intended. And we're delivering what shoppers want and what consumers are looking for.
The venison you are producing is better for me and my family and my children. And ultimately better for the planet. Better for environments - it's about ecosystems. The consumers all want to ensure that in the purchases that they make, that it's better for the animal and the welfare of the animal. But consumers also care about social issues now more than ever. They care about all you in the room - the Mountain River farmer and the community that you're a part of - the people that are actually on the front doing the hard work. So what we really endeavour to do is serve the consumer right. We want to give them exactly what they want.
We want to allow the customer to understand that the alternative to this really beautiful and virtuous system is a rather negative one that doesn't really represent what they're looking for. Part of the way we do that is working with folks like you and getting valuable content that we can share. We want to tell your story and we want to connect you to them. We want to develop that market.
We work hard on demand creation and serving consumers, but the other half of our job is to connect you to that market and to ensure that you have access to those consumers. And further, we work to ensure that you get what you deserve and what you receive justifies the effort. It validates the premium that you deserve for the work you're doing - the good outcomes that you're promoting, especially in an environment where too many folks have cheapened the quality of food at the expense of so many of those things that we all care about.
Force Of Nature's 'Farming In Nature's Image' (www.forceofnature.com/pages/regenerate): Through a mutually symbiotic relationship dating back hundreds of millennia, the health of our grassland ecosystems and the health of civilisations are deeply interconnected. Through fertilisation, soil aeration, and the stimulation of plants, large herds of grazing bison and elk were the original architects of North America's most fertile lands. The nourishment provided to the soil by these animals has served as a savings account in which the last 100 years of food production has relied upon.
Force Of Nature Story (www.forceofnature.com/pages/our-story): We love eating meat, but we're tired of making sacrifices in our own values with the ways in which animals and land is managed in our current food system. It dawned on us that when managed in nature's image, livestock could also create a positive return on the planet, and through grazing, could actually contribute to a system that fights climate change.