Silver Fern Farms, in a new partnership with Gourmet Direct, launched its e-commerce platform in May offering a full retail range of its premium red meat products.
While SFF has been working on an e-commerce strategy over the past two years the covid lockdown presented the perfect opportunity to bring it all together, marketing manager Nicola Johnston said.
Gourmet Direct is a Napier business specialising in sending premium meat products around the country via its e-commerce platform.
“SFF has an established reputation as one of NZ’s most trusted meat brands and by joining forces with Gourmet Direct we can bring our farmers’ world-class meat products to more Kiwis’ plates.
“This has been a natural fit with online shopping becoming more popular than ever following the covid-19 lockdown.
“Having our products on Gourmet Direct’s online platform also means we can gain valuable insights direct from our customers about what they want to see from SFF as a quality grass-fed lamb, venison and beef brand,” Johnston said.
Covid-19 has proved the worth of SFF’s aspiration for e-commerce.
“Consumers have demonstrated they want choice and they want options.
“Covid-19 has removed the barrier, particularly in chilled and fresh food.
“People are prepared to take more risk and try the experience.”
Johnson said key trends show a third of New Zealanders want to continue to cook more at home with the convenience of ready-to-cook products delivered to the door.
“In online shopping trends we are seeing growth.
“Prior to covid there was an estimated 13% of people shopping online, post covid there’s another 23% started so there’s a really good number who e-commerce has attracted.
“Online, we are much closer to our consumers and we can innovate our products to what they desire. That’s all part of our plate-to-pasture strategy putting the consumer first to provide from the farm what consumers want to buy.
“We can provide a much better service to our own suppliers in a much broader product range and the plan for that is to have the farmer portal up and running before Christmas,” Johnston said.
The initiative has increased Gourmet Direct’s product range and helped SFF products get further and faster around the country.
Gourmet Direct owner Kate King said showcasing Kiwi farmers and their exceptional meat products with her customers, who value quality and convenience, is at the heart of her business.
“SFF presented us with the opportunity to expand our range and work with a partner that shares our values.
“This is a truly exciting partnership for us as we reached the point where we wanted to get bigger in a changing and new, modern environment with a premium product that hails full traceability.”
Gourmet Direct was the first online food company in NZ, initially started by Richmond 30 years ago when King was Richmond’s marketing manager.
Gourmet Direct is now owned by King and her Hawke’s Bay farming husband Perry.
Timing has also been perfect for Gourmet Direct.
“This is a very natural and cutting-edge partnership that is about us being able to scale with executive strength and knowledge in terms of intelligence, market resource and content.
“It lands well with our current and new consumers who are seeking new eating experiences.
“It’s also at a time when demand for online shopping has soared and when NZ’s food producers are so important in helping drive economic recovery post lockdown,” King said.
Sales lifted 500% during the lockdown and sales since are 100% up on the corresponding time last year.