A boom in enquiries from “foodies” and those now more accustomed to cooking from home during the pandemic, has seen one top-end north salmon producer launch an online shop for home delivery.
Scourie-based Loch Duart, whose salmon featured on the Buckingham Palace menu for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding, as well as on tables at the recent COP26 environment summit in Glasgow, is now offering the general public a chance to buy direct.
Salmon used by Marcus Wareing
Up to this point, Loch Duart salmon has featured in establishments such as the two-star Midsummer House in Cambridge and for use by chefs such as Marcus Wareing in his Michelin-star restaurant in London’s The Berkeley Hotel.
One of the starters in The Berkeley Hotel in the West End is Confit Loch Duart salmon,
The salmon has also been available through premium fishmongers and a handful of online retailers, but pressing demand from a public far more accustomed to cooking at home for two years, has driven the move online.
“We frequently receive messages from discerning foodies and home cooks asking where they can buy our salmon,” a Loch Duart spokesman told the Press and Journal.
“By adding the convenience of the online shop, we believe we can close the gap and make Loch Duart salmon more available to the public.
Complete control of ‘egg to plate’ process
“We harvest our fish on Monday prepare it by hand on Wednesday and courier the salmon for delivery on Thursday. We oversee every step of the process from the harvest of the fish on the north west coast of Scotland to hand preparation of online orders at our own processing facility in Dingwall.
“By having complete control of the process from ‘egg to plate’ we are able to deliver the freshest possible Scottish salmon. Our slow-grown salmon are given space to swim and fed a bespoke diet high in marine content which keeps them fit and healthy and high in Omega-3.”
However, the “egg to plate” process involves quite a hefty premium. Loch Duart fillet portions are sold in boxes of eight (£52) and 12 (£78), although that price tag is helped by what the salmon farmer maintains are “generous” portion sizes averaging 170g.
The company also has plans to offer vacuum-packed Loch Duart branded fillet in the near future.
Demand for restaurant-quality produce
“Bringing Loch Duart to people’s homes has been something we have been planning for some time, so it’s fantastic to finally launch our new online shop and bring the salmon we love direct to customers,” noted Loch Duart salmon sales director, Chris Orr.
“Traditionally Loch Duart salmon has been reserved for the world’s finest restaurants, but over the last few years we’ve seen a growth not just in the desire to cook at home, but a demand for restaurant-quality produce to work with.
“I’d urge all discerning foodies and home cooks to savour the flavour of Loch Duart and to find out more about why we’re so proud of the way we raise our fish.”
A seemingly non-stop appetite for food programmes on television, coupled with a rise in the celebrity chef phenomenon and restaurants being shut for so long during various lockdowns, has triggered a real interest in domestic cooking, coupled with a more tech-savvy audience willing to experiment.
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen growth not just in the desire to cook at home, but demand for restaurant-quality produce to work with,” added the Loch Duart spokesman.
“The addition of the online shop has the potential to close the gap and unlock sales directly to the consumer.”
Social media campaign to launch
Loch Duart produces more than 6,600 tons of salmon each year, from its farms and employs 160 staff in the Western Isles, Sutherland and Ross and Cromarty, although there are no estimates yet of what potential new jobs which might result from the online store.
The interest from technology users is also prompting Loch Duart to launch a social media campaign this week to promote the launch of the new online option, supported by the addition of a Facebook and Instagram shop.
“We are also utilising brand partnerships to aid the launch such as our partnership with charity Heart UK, Traeger grills and the use of foodie influencers,” noted the salmon producer.