The Waiheke Island Yacht Club pop-up restaurant, which is
near the start-finish line for the America's Cup in San
Francisco. Photo supplied.
Silver Fern Farms is already reaping the benefits of its
involvement with the Waiheke Island Yacht Club in San
The company is the sole supplier of red meat to the New
Zealand-inspired pop-up restaurant and bar which opened in
July to coincide with the America's Cup.
It has been spearheaded by award-winning restaurateur Tony
Stewart, of Clooney restaurant fame in Auckland, who also did
the pop-up Kiwi House restaurant in London during the 2012
The restaurant was performing ''definitely well above'' what
Silver Fern Farms initially expected in terms of product and
it was going through close to double what its projections
were, group category manager Grant Howie said.
While it was a big undertaking, the feedback received, both
from those who had dined there and also on social media, was
''just really going well'' and new customers were being
gained every week, he said.
It was also a good way to gain an understanding of exactly
what a top-end restaurant, in a city like San Francisco,
New Zealand's red meat industry had been doing business in
the United States ''for years'' but it was mostly grinding
beef for hamburgers.
Silver Fern Farms saw a big opportunity for both high-end and
mid-range restaurants in the US to ''buy into'' the New
Zealand grass-fed natural beef, lamb and venison story. In
the top-end market, there was definitely a swing away from
grain-fed beef, he said.
''It's a matter of literally restaurant by restaurant
building our business over there. Right now, we can't supply
enough,'' he said.
The Waiheke Island Yacht Club, which attracted a visit from
actor Tom Cruise, who dined on a dish of Silere Alpine Origin
Merino, will be open until the end of December.
Americans were traditionally big beef consumers and did not
eat much lamb but the Silere merino story was grabbing their
attention, Mr Howie said.
Silere is a joint-venture meat brand between Silver Fern
Farms and The New Zealand Merino Company.
It was still building in New Zealand, but a programme had
started in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and sights were set on
Dubai, in the Middle East, for the coming season.