M&S increases venison stock in response to growing demand

Marks & Spencer is increasing its venison range for Christmas, after recording a 78% rise in sales in stores across the UK and Ireland.

The upmarket retailer is stocking four new products from Northern Ireland-based meat company Finnebrogue, to meet the growing demand, as well as bringing back two successful venison-based Christmas dishes from 2010. Aimed primarily aimed at the ready-to-cook market, the new products include a French-trimmed rib loin of venison served with Madeira, cream and pink peppercorn sauce and a venison Wellington with prune and Bramley apple stuffing (which is available from the food to order catalogue), as well as venison cocktail sausages and venison and roasted red onion stuffing.

Denis Lynn, Finnebrogue Estate managing director, said: “Our new product development team has worked extremely hard to create these products for Marks & Spencer’s Christmas range.

“Venison is now seen as a healthy alternative to turkey or goose and offers a unique flavour to those looking for a different taste on Christmas Day. Historically, people have not been familiar with cooking venison, so our ready-cook products help to dispel the myth around the meat and, as a result, confidence in cooking venison is now growing year on year.”

Conrad Digan, M&S head of foods Ireland, said: “Finnebrogue has been supplying us for over 10 years and has continuously made changes to its product lines to meet customer needs and trends.

“Sales suggest that our customers have acquired a taste for venison and, in order to meet the growing demand for ready-prepared products which are fool-proof solutions to dining occasions at Christmas, Finnebrogue has developed these new and exciting lines for the festive season.”