S E C T I O N 9 : Global Markets
shareholders to explore the development of a market for hogget because of the large price differential between lamb and mutton. The trial had a particular focus on the ethnic foods market. The UK has one of Europe’s largest markets for ethnic foods, so is accustomed to using both New Zealand lamb and mutton. Taste testing trials also found the hogget scored highly for taste and succulence. Product was selected on the basis of good meat and fat colour. Some pilot product was also sent to Asia and market feedback was positive. We will be expanding the programme over the coming year. S K I N PA C K T E C H N O L O GY Our team is undertaking significant product development programmes and has a number of innovations in the pipeline. This year, following a two year project, the co-operative dispatched our first major shipment of product in vacuum skin tray packaging to Hong Kong. Skin packaging technology hermetically seals right to the edge of the meat cut, extending its chilled shelf life for up to 11 weeks, retaining colour and optimising meat tenderness. The product, including cutlets, saddle chops and chump steaks, is jointly marketed under the Pure South and the Angliss Hong Kong brands and sold in supermarkets, including those owned by the Aeon Stores Group. This is believed to be the first New Zealand red meat packed at origin to be supplied in skin packs into Hong Kong. Skin packaging is a good way to display smaller consumer-ready portions. Because of the materials used, skin packaging gives flexibility to package small consumer-ready products across a range of cuts, including chilled, frozen, bone-in and boneless compared to less flexible vacuum packaging which is used for larger primal cuts to export to wholesale markets. FIRST COMMERCIAL ORDER O F ST I R F RY C U T V E N I S O N D I S PAT C H E D T O A S I A Alliance’s first commercial order of stir fry cut venison was sent to Asia in the spring after positive feedback from sampling with the food service sector. It follows the Alliance Asia team in Singapore testing interest in the attributes
ALLIANCE ANNUAL REP ORT 2018
of thinly-cut venison for the Asian food service sector, trialling 1kg bags with chefs and distributors. Lean venison muscle cuts are put through a special machine to provide thin strips ideal for Asian cuisine. These are early days for this product but it is an exciting development as we work to extend our reach in the food service sector internationally.
Our Markets EUROPE AND UK The UK and European markets performed well across all sectors with strong prices for lamb and venison in particular. Brexit remains an unknown quantity. The UK is due to leave the European Union in late March, which coincides with the arrival of our Easter chilled, so there is potential for disruption. We are continuing to monitor the situation. Reduced consumer spending power within the UK and “buy British” campaigns remain a threat to New Zealand exporters. Despite these factors, our UK Food Service business has grown strongly. NORTH AMERIC A The North American market has grown this year with the US economy buoyant and solid performances in retail and food service. We have been working to revitalise "spring lamb" to improve product positioning. The requirement for all product to be antibioticfree is increasing. There was good demand for venison, especially manufacturing products. The supply for the super premium pet food sector continues to grow and a focus on meeting the demands and opportunities will be key to maximising returns as part of the whole carcase contribution. ALLIANCE ASIA Following our acquisition of the Singaporebased marketing and sales company GoldKiwi Asia, our Alliance Asia team has made good progress executing our strategy to get closer to our Asian markets and grow our global footprint. The new Asia office in Singapore is connecting us to some of the world’s largest populations and their growing demand for quality foods. It has also lifted Alliance’s