Page 23 - Food&Drink July 2019
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Seeing red for dinner ease
Luv-A-Duck’s Red Tray range is about meeting consumer need for convenience and dispelling the myth that duck is hard to cook. CEO Daryl Bussell tells Kim Berry how.
JUST over 50 years
ago, a friendly
competition had the unexpected outcome
of Luv-a-Duck founder Arthur Shoppee
owning a couple of
ducks. What started outasabitofalark
soon became a
business, as he started selling them to restaurants.
Today, the business supplies fresh and frozen ducks all over Australia and has developed a range of pre-cooked, heat and serve duck products – its Red Tray range.
CEO Daryl Bussell says one of the biggest challenges for the company is the misconception that duck is difficult to cook. Part of our education process is to help people understand that duck is actually very easy to cook, he says. “It’s not as difficult or scary as people think and it delivers a beautiful flavour that is much stronger than chicken.
“Duck gets compared to chicken a lot because they’re both birds, but the reality is duck meat is more like red meat. You actually cook it with a bit of pink in the middle. We like to think that we’re more like steak or lamb than we are like chicken.”
Educating consumers as well as meeting their changing habits around meal preparation has been fertile ground for Luv-A-Duck. “A large number of people don’t want to go all the way to outsourcing meal preparation. They want some of the work done for them but also want to
finish it off in their home and feel some involvement.
“Red Trays give people that flexibility to make it simple but still end up with and impressive meal. The cooking has already been done, you simply pop them in the oven to warm them up and then you can personalise them,” Bussell says.
There are eight products in the range, including the very popular peking flavour duck legs or breasts. Confit legs, honey soy legs, red curry legs, roasted breast or legs, and a smoked breast (excellent in a Caesar salad, Bussell says) round out the range.
Bussell says the company is building a value-add facility in Ballarat, and the projected $20 million spend on expanding the company’s capabilities and capacity will grow the range even further.
The investment will hopefully give the company greater opportunity to also develop its export markets, but Bussell says they anticipate the greatest growth will come from the ready meal market. ✷
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 +61 8 8262 5300  | July 2019 | Food&Drink business | 23

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