Gressingham is looking to broaden the appeal of fresh duck and attract an additional 500,000 customers to the category over the next two years by revamping its brand and adding “easy cook” products to its range.

The company, which supplies branded and own-label fresh duck products to the mults, is refreshing its packaging with brighter colours and a new, more prominent logo, and adding the strapline “the remarkable duck people” to all its branded products. Products will also start carrying simple, step-by-step cooking instructions on the front of packs.

The new packaging will roll out to the mults as of this week and will be supported by a consumer marketing campaign involving online and Facebook ads.

Gressingham is also launching 10 branded convenience products in September, offering duck meat with a sauce or a marinade to make preparing fresh duck easier.

The company hopes these initiatives will help increase household penetration for fresh duck from 7% at the moment [Nielsen, 2011] to 10% by 2014. MD William Buchanan said the time was right for duck to make a bigger impact in the fresh meat aisle. “Duck has great taste and flavour, and compares well with beef and lamb on price,” he said. The retail price of a whole duck had gone up by about 10% to £4.70/kg over the past two years, he added. This compares with inflation of 27.1% to £8.64/kg for lamb and 6.3% to £6.41/kg for beef [Kantar Worldpanel 104 w/e 18 April 2012 ].

The fresh duck category was currently heavily dependent on sales of whole birds and crowns, but Gressingham hoped its NPD would encourage shoppers to try duck for smaller, mid-week meals, Buchanan said.

The company will continue to supply turkey and speciality poultry, such as poussin, under its new branding.