Sainsbury’s launches own-label game range

Sainsbury’s has launched its first own-label range of venison in response to market demand, which will be supplied by Scottish venison supplier Highland Game.

The deal has seen Highland Game-branded venison delisted by Sainsbury’s and now sold under the By Sainsbury’s and Taste the Difference ranges. Fatima Khan, Sainsbury’s game buyer, told that the supermarket’s venison sales had “probably doubled” summer to summer and this range offered what consumers wanted.

This reflected a trend for venison, with sales rocketing over 400% on last year, and the Sainsbury’s range showed consumers no longer saw it as a seasonal product, according to Christian Nissen, managing director of Highland Game.

This is the first time Highland Game has sold venison under another name, which Nissen said was bittersweet for the business: “We are happy to accept the challenge and we are honoured to be invited in. However, on the one hand this is a great opportunity to grow our business, but on the other, it takes the personal touch away that we could offer. If a customer was unhappy or really enjoyed my product they could berate me, or pat me on the back personally.

“We believe our brand is the way forward, but if you dangle a carrot in front of me to grow my business, I will take it.”

Sainsbury’s said it was too early to tell how well the range would do, but added the initial reaction looked good.

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