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Kiwi Demand for Online Organic Meat Growing

Kiwi Demand for Online Organic Meat Growing

By Fleur Revell
6 May 2014

Kiwis are demanding more premium free range and organic meat with one local business experiencing 170% growth within six months after creating an ecommerce platform to service national demand.

Palmerston North based butchery Moreish set up its online retail arm three years ago to aid expansion into new markets.

Owner Nicola Boniface says it was clear that a significant demand for naturally grown meat was present beyond their region but establishing a short supply chain was the key to making the model work.

“Increasingly we have found New Zealand consumers have a desire to know the origins of their food. Maintaining a short distribution channel from farm 'gate to plate' and providing total transparency on our suppliers has helped give customers the reassurance they need,” says Boniface.

She says one of the biggest challenges the company faced was refining the delivery process so that the perishable meat products reached the customers in Auckland in the same condition as if they had purchased in their local Palmerston North store.

Boniface says that advances in packaging technology and experience gained from trial deliveries bought them to the optimum delivery method.

“Once we hit on the right shipping model our next tasks were consumer education and developing a relationship of trust with our prefered courier company.

“We recognised that many consumers view purchasing food online as a risk and we invested significant resources into communicating our comprehensive product support and customer service ethos,” she says.

Boniface says building an online customer and subscriber base in the thousands was done through exhibiting at food shows, in-house cooking classes and word-of-mouth spread by social media.

She attributes one of the key elements of the family owned business' success is in maintaining long-term relationships with suppliers.

“All supplies must conform to strict standards to ensure the products are genuinely free range, with no antibiotics, and no chemicals.

"We seldom require new suppliers due to our strong relationships with our farmers and when we do, we almost always headhunt them."

Boniface says the triple digit rate of annual growth is expected to continue and the company’s online arm will represent more than a third of their total business revenue by the end of the financial year.

Boniface says the company is working to accommodate further expansion and wants to become more vertically integrated with the goal to invest in its own delivery fleet to service key regions in the coming 12 months.

ENDS

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