NZ meats on Singapore menu

TIM CRONSHAW
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013

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New Zealand beef, lamb and, most likely venison, are on the menu at the Lone Star's first overseas restaurant in a top waterfront precinct in Singapore.

The meat, branded Pure South, is being supplied by meat processor and exporter Alliance Group to the Fern & Kiwi restaurant, an offshoot of the Lone Star bar and restaurant chain.

A New Zealand-themed menu was worked out by consultant chef Mathew Metcalfe, who has cooked for the late Steve Jobs and leading Hollywood figures.

The meat range will come from farms across the country and processed at Alliance's Group's eight plants.

Marketing manager Murray Brown said the project was on a small scale, but there was potential for the business to grow.

"They are just starting out as a franchise and they could grow in Southeast Asia. They are selling Pure South lamb and beef in the hope venison will take on in the future."

Brown said Singaporeans, with the world's fourth highest income per capita, were prepared to pay at the top end for their red meat.

"Do I see a lot of growth? No. But I would see growth if this franchise builds rather than consumption per capita increases. If Lone Star is reasonably successful in the area it could go to Malaysia and Thailand."

New Zealand sent several tonnes of sheepmeat and lamb to Singapore, whereas 10,000 tonnes of beef have been delivered.

Brown said Alliance and meat companies were looking to extend markets after last year's round of large losses despite no market share change between them.

"I think farmers underestimate the world is in a sad place, however, China has bought significantly more volumes of low value cuts, mainly mutton, but also lamb in the October to December quarter."

China bought 9000 tonnes of lower lamb cuts from October to December, 2011, and 28,000 tonnes in the same period last year.

Better sales were generated by companies carrying higher stocks, stronger demand and from a higher North Island kill.

Brown said this would tighten up markets such as South Africa and Mexico and would create a little more demand, but the concern remained with sales of higher end cuts to food services.

Farmers might have to wait eight to 10 months before consumption stabilised in key markets for higher end cuts and prices increased, he said.

He said consumption was rising in more Asian markets and demand for lower value cuts meant it wise to work in niche projects such as Singapore. Singapore is known as a leading culinary city in Asia with Pure South a well-established export brand after more than a decade of Alliance marketing in Asia. Pure South lamb, beef and venison is New Zealand's leading brand in many top restaurants and hotels throughout Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and increasingly in the main cities in China.

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Established in 1988, Lone Star has 21 branches and the Singapore site is the first restaurant to open since the flagship outlet was destroyed in the Christchurch earthquakes.

- The Press

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