We recently attended the Deer Industry Conference, held between 15 May 2018 to 17 May 2018 at Caroline Bay Hall, Timaru.
At the conference, we took the opportunity to speak about our focus on the Chinese market and some of the insights and response we’ve seen. As unfamiliar meat, there is no inherent demand for venison. While being priced below top beef cuts (e.g. wagyu), venison fits a desire for health, quality and sustainable products. There are some bureaucracy, distribution, and education challenges, and you may be surprised that tartare is proving popular!
A core part of our marketing involves Hunter McGregor, a professional “shoe leather burner”, who started with zero restaurants serving venison and now boasts over 140 restaurants serving Mountain River Venison.
Hunter has been developing the market for Mountain River venison in China through his company Shanghai Rata for nearly three years, having been based there for 10. A core focus for Hunter is in the digital marketing space, utilising the WeChat platform.
Here’s John talking through some of our insights:
Here are some highlights from the video, the restaurants John mentioned featuring our venison:
Venison has a place on the menu at Le Monde de Joel Robuchon, Shanghai. It is a 2 star Michelin Restaurant and the cuisine is very much traditional French. So in this restaurant venison is a seasonal winter dish. Joel Robuchon is an international restaurant star and is known as the most starred chef in the world. It is great news to have our product on the menu of this restaurant. Even more exciting is that such a sumptuous dish has been created from a leg cut!
M on the Bund serves raw venison carpaccio all year round which goes against some of the research we did but it is proving to be a popular menu item. All cudos to Kiwi Executive chef Hamish Waddel.
Colca, pictured below, is a Peruvian restaurant in Shanghai serving venison ribs on the menu all year round, and it's one of the most popular items. Who would have predicted New Zealand free range venison on the menu at Peruvian restaurant in Shanghai?
If you were unable to attend the conference, or want a refresher on what was presented, the videos of the presentations are now online on the DINZ YouTube channel. We welcome and encourage an ongoing discussion!
We encourage you to reach out to Hunter on WeChat to hear more of the great work he’s doing.