Three companies win support from 2022 Marketing Innovation Fund

Feb 17, 2022

Three venison companies – Mountain River Venison, Alliance and First Light Farms – have been selected for support in the second year of the DINZ Marketing Innovation Fund (MIF) in 2022 with a total of $400,000 going to support the programmes.

Mountain River Venison will be using its support to build on its foundational work in the Scandinavian premium retail sector, especially in Sweden. The company’s goal is to increase the number of stores stocking farm-raised New Zealand venison to 60.

In-store promotion activity will take place in the affluent cities of Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo and Gothenburg, amongst others, growing awareness of a wide range of cuts, including tri-tips, short-loins, steaks, goulash, tenderloins and mince. This will be supported digitally throughout Scandinavia, continuing the company’s association with Instagrammer Henning Kvicken and also with celebrity chef MagnusBlomgren, chef from restaurant Ulla Winbladh.

Funding is helping Alliance Group in a programme with its Chinese partner Grand Farm to launch a range of new venison products in China. Two of nine new products, venison hot pot rolls and venison brisket cubes in premium packaging, were launched in December.

The programme, a major focus for the co-operative’s venison marketing team, is being driven by its Singapore office, which has been boosted with new staff. Their promptional focus will be Chinese festivals, such as New Year, Spring Festival and Golden Week.

In-store promotions are planned for physical stores in Harbin, Daqing, Zhaodong, Shengyang, Beijing, Guangzhou and other cities. The products will also be promoted on China’s largest e-commerce platform, enhanced by brand exposure via social media channels.

First Light will use the funds to boost the launch of New Zealand venison onto the the exporter’s brand new US Direct to Consumer (DTC) e-commerce website, that was launched in the US in the first week of February.

Fresh venison photography and videos are being produced this week to tell the New Zealand venison story, as part of the company’s target ‘Craft Consumers’ marketing campaign. This will be supported by dedicated public relations activity to launch venison onto the new site in a few weeks time, including disseminating health and other information to health and hunting groups and sending samples to influencers. 

The MIF was set up by the DINZ board in 2020 to support the sector’s response to Covid-19 and to drive and rapidly increase sales of New Zealand venison into retail in export markets. In its first year, Silver Fern Farms received funding to accelerate its programme in China.

“It is a critical time for us to be supporting processors to increase sales as quickly as possible,” says DINZ chairman Dr Ian Walker “We received strong applications from all the processors which shows their commitment to the industry.”

Alliance Group launched a new premium-packaged venison hot pot roll to Chinese consumers in December, with funding support from DINZ. Hot pot rolls are a staple in traditional Chinese cuisine and the product is in a format that is very familiar to consumers there

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