Duck integrator Cherry Valley is fighting back against cheap imports with a new marketing strategy focusing on quality rather than price.
Central to its campaign is the relaunch of its signature boneless roast duck, cooked in Chinese ovens and pre-seasoned, and aimed at wholesalers and restaurateurs.
It is a response to competition from China gaining access to European markets for cooked, boneless duck products and a main reason Cherry Valley’s marketing strategy is highlighting quality.
They are sold to retailers in packs of 10, and comprise two duck halves.
“The market for duck was fundamentally a raw meat one, but the emphasis has shifted to a combination of raw and cooked,” said Eric Jagger, sales and marketing director at Cherry Valley. He explained that this was because fewer highly qualified chefs were coming to the UK from China, and restaurants needed the convenience of cooked product and to keep up quality.
Early results for the campaign have been encouraging, added Mr Jagger. The first two weeks of cooking demonstrations have seen a 53% uplift in sales. The wider marketing in the run-up to Christmas will see Cherry Valley advertising in newspapers and on Chinese-language TV channels and, for the first time, a campaign to encourage more duck on restaurant menus.
Mr Jagger said a further focus for the company had been to broaden its footprint by increasing sales in Europe, which are up 46% year-on-year.
Branding is now uniform across the range and in different countries. “We’ve done a Coca-Cola on duck,” said Mr Jagger.