Scottish venison will be enjoyed with Gousto

The increased demand for lean protein is fuelling growth for a Scottish venison supplier.

The award-winning Highland Game has secured a new partnership with the UK’s largest recipe box company, Gousto, and increased distribution with UK wholesale partners Costco, Booker and Brakes worth almost £2 million in sales to the company over the next 12 months.

Launching UK-wide with Gousto on Wednesday (27 November), Dundee-based Highland Game will supply more than 20,000 meal solutions over a two-week period of its Christmas Venison and Camembert Burgers made from sustainable, wild Scottish venison. This is the first time the firm has partnered with a recipe box or meal delivery provider, with the company agreeing a further contract to supply venison steaks the week before Christmas.

Meanwhile, over the next 12 months Highland Game will increase supply of its venison fillets, steaks, diced, burgers and sausage range to its UK wholesale partners to meet a surge in demand for the low fat, lean source of protein. The announcement follows news in September of Highland Game securing increased distribution with retail partners Tesco and Morrisons worth over £1 million.

Venison provides a sustainable, low fat meat protein for consumers who are interested in understanding where their food comes from and are looking for healthy alternatives to red meat. Gram for gram, venison contains less fat than a skinless chicken breast and is an excellent source of iron, delivering more than any other domestic meat.

Andrew Lewis, buying director at Gousto, said: ‘At Gousto, we pride ourselves on delivering mealtime inspiration to families across the UK. We’re delighted to be working with Highland Game to introduce two new venison products to our customers, so they can enjoy even more great-tasting dinners.’

Managing director and founder of Highland Game, Christian Nissen, added: ‘Alongside our partners in wholesale, food service, retail and export, we’ve been working hard to widen appeal for venison and raise awareness of this healthy, sustainable meat protein.

‘While the Christmas Venison and Camembert Burgers are on the indulgent side, health-conscious consumers looking for a sustainable, low-fat alternative to red meat has steadily increased 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, and now – thanks to these increased supply deals – consumers can easily get venison online, at wholesale or in retail from Lerwick to Land’s End. 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.

‘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.

Christian concluded: ‘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.’