Suffolk: Gressingham Foods plans to get the UK eating duck

SPECIALIST meat products firm Gressingham Foods is planning a major marketing investment in a bid to encourage an additional 500,000 consumers across the UK to cook with duck.

Gressingham, which employs more than 500 people around East Anglia, with its main sites being at Debach, near Woodbridge, and Redgrave, near Diss, is already the principal supplier of fresh duck to the retail and food service sectors.

Its new strategy includes rebranding, new product development and the largest marketing campaign ever undertaken for fresh duck in the UK.

Fresh duck is currently valued at �45million in the retail sector but data from market research group Nielsen shows that just 7% of households bought fresh duck in the last year, a figure Gressingham plans to increase to 10% by 2014.

William Buchanan, joint managing director at Gressingham, said: “This is a really exciting time for us; with an increasing number of couples looking for a distinctive treat at home and the rising price of lamb and beef there is a natural opportunity for Gressingham Duck.

“We are passionate about duck and have ambitious plans to encourage more people to eat duck by repositioning it as a ‘regular treat’ – duck is remarkably simple to cook and we want more people to have a go.”

Steve Curzon, associate marketing director at Gressingham, added: “We want to see more people cooking with duck and with the growing consumer interest in cooking at home this is a great time for Gressingham.

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“During the past year Gressingham has sent out over 250,000 recipe books containing simple-to-prepare recipes, which will increase significantly in the months ahead, and we are preparing a significant push into digital for our recipe marketing.

“The rebranding, new product development and marketing activity marks a real step change for the promotion of duck and delivers a firm platform for growth for East Anglian based Gressingham.”

Gressingham has exclusive rights to produce Gressingham Duck, a cross-breed of wild mallard and Pekin. It has also extended its portfolio to include geese, guinea fowl and chicken.