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Meat company Our Cow looks to grow after acquisition of food delivery service

Eric Barker, 19/01/2023

Farmers Bianca Tarrant and David McGiveron built their business Our Cow out of bush fires and drought delivering grass fed and organic meat across Australia, pictured on their property in Deep River, NSW, on December 4 2021. Photo: Elise Derwin / SMH

NORTHERN New South Wales meat delivery start up Our Cow has added to its portfolio with the acquisition of a grocery delivery service that went into administration last year.

The company has purchased Voly for an undisclosed amount – an Uber Eats-style grocery delivery service that was started in 2020 and shot to popularity during the COVID 19 lockdowns. The company announced its closure late last year at a similar time to the closure of another urban food delivery company, Deliveroo.

An article in The Australian said Voly creditors will be repaid between 15c and 27c in the dollar, with liquidators appointed to the company.

Our Cow co-founder Bianca Tarrant told Beef Central this week that Voly had built up a good customer base in Sydney and presented a good opportunity for their direct-to-consumer meat subscription business.

“We thought Voly had done a really good job and it was unfortunate to see them go into administration – so we thought we would pick up some of their assets and introduce their customers to Our Cow,” Ms Tarrant said.

“The majority of our customers are in the Sydney CBD, so it was just a case of introducing their customers to our product.”

Our Cow was founded four-years-ago by Ms Tarrant and Dave McGiveron as a meat subscription service, which sells meat boxes with combinations of beef, lamb, chicken and pork delivered to consumers. Boxes are packed in a butcher shop in Casino, which employs about 40 staff.

“The business has grown quite quickly and there is a fair bit of meat that goes out the door each week,” Ms Tarrant said.

“We started the business because we were weaner producers who were really badly affected by drought and bushfires and we didn’t want to participate in a market with so many variables. We knew that meat prices don’t fluctuate as much as cattle prices and that other producers would be in the same boat as us.”

The company raised $2.5 million in crowd funding last year and claims to have $20 million of annual recurring revenue from over 50,000 customers and more than 150 suppliers across Queensland and NSW. Ms Tarrant said the company sold more than 1 million meat packets last year.

Our Cow did not provide the number of carcases it purchased last year, but Beef Central believes to generate $20 million in meat revenue from cattle, the throughput would need to be about 4,000 head per year – a little less than 80 per week. In the case of Our Cow the number is more difficult to calculate, with the four different types of proteins going through its shop.

Major marketing campaign

Our Cow has had a major marketing campaign in recent years, investing plenty in digital marketing telling the story of how Dave and Bianca started the company and has been showcasing some of its suppliers with videos. The company regularly posts recipes and meal plans on its Facebook page.

It has appeared on many news platforms and has sponsored a television show called Taste of Australia, which was hosted by former MasterChef contestant Hayden Quinn.

“We travelled the country with Hayden and showcased a lot of the farmers that produce livestock for Our Cow and showed why their operations are so special,” Ms Tarrant said.

With another crowdfunding campaign starting at the end of the month, Ms Tarrant said the company was keen to keep growing its customer base.

“We are looking to increase our product range and our offerings, we will bring some new product lines to the business,” she said.

“We are going to look at our deliveries as well, we do a lot of deliveries into the metro areas – so we are keen to see how we can speed that up and continue to support farmers. At this point we are only focusing on the domestic market.”

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