About the Company
When you think about a gourmet butcher shop, a crisp apron and a well-stocked display case of prime meats come to mind. Even among the most recognized butcher shops, Donald Russell has the reputation of being the UK’s most popular online butcher. With achievements such as winning 7 Great Taste awards in 2020, a lot is expected from this posh online butchery.
For almost 50 years, Donald Russell has been known as a top purveyor of premium quality meats, fish and extended to include tasty desserts and prepared meals. It is one of the 686 holders of a Royal Warrant, granted by HM the Queen.
Located in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, the company was co-founded by William Donald and John Stone, a Scottish farmer and a Master butcher respectively. John took over Russell Meats in 1974 and partnered with William, who exported gourmet meats from his slaughterhouse and cutting room to upmarket restaurants and hotels. Their reputation quickly afforded them to supply Michelin-star restaurants and hotels all around the world. Today, the butchery boasts more than 300,000 5 star reviews!
An estimated 225 workers are employed at the butchery.
Donald Russel is traded on the stock market and according to businesswire, the grass-fed beef market is predicted to grow by USD 14.50 billion during 2020-2024. This is mostly due to the high demand for grass-fed beef since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. In an interview with Burness Paull, Derek Leslie, the finance director at Donald Russell, stated that despite many struggles with European suppliers, they were still doing well locally.
In 2012, Vestey Group, a privately owned food conglomerate, acquired Donald Russell. The company started as a family-owned butchery in Liverpool before brothers William and Edmund Vestey established the Vestey empire in 1897. Now almost 125 years later, Vestey Holdings mainly focuses on the sourcing, processing and distribution of food.
Donald Russell offers pork, red meat, poultry and seafood. The product categories are divided as steaks, lamb, beef, pork, Game, Seafood, poultry, prepared meals, and barbeque.
Free-range Corn-fed Whole Chicken
Free-range Chicken Breast Fillets
Free-range Turkey Escalopes
Free-range Chicken Thighs
Breaded Turkey Escalope
Corn-fed Chicken Supreme
Confit Duck Leg
Free-range Whole Chicken
Free-range Chicken Mini Fillets
Cockerel Cushion with Sage & Onion Stuffing
Free-range Whole Turkey
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Free-range Duck Breast
Free-range Duck Legs
Free-range Bronze Turkey
Fish and Seafood
Wild Cod Fillets
Wild Haddock Fillets
Smoked Haddock Fillets
Sea Bass Fillets
Scottish Salmon Fillets
Wild Monkfish Fillets
Wild Lemon Sole Fillet
Butterflied Herring Fillets
Wild Hake Fillet
Wild Halibut Fillets
Scottish Smoked Salmon
Cocktail Crab Claws
Wild Atlantic Prawns
Wild King Scallops
Wild Queen Scallops
Diced Red Deer Venison
Red Deer Loin Medallions
Diced Game Bird Breasts
Red Deer Haunch Medallions
Partridge Breast Fillets
Pheasant Breast Fillets
Whole Oven Ready Grouse
Roe Deer Loins
Red Deer Loin Fillet
Cocktail Sausages with Apple, Maple & Chipotle Glaze
Pork Shoulder Steaks with Honey Mustard Glaze
Thin Cut Sweet & Smokey Barbecue Pork Loin Steaks
Thin Cut Barbecue Chilli Pork Loin Steaks
Thin Cut Porchetta Pork Loin Steaks
Thin Cut Sweet & Smokey Barbecue Pork Shoulder Steaks
Thin Cut Barbecue Chilli Pork Shoulder Steaks
Thin Cut Porchetta Pork Shoulder Steaks
Thin Cut Pork Shoulder Steaks
Thin Cut Pork Loin Steaks
Pork & Black Pudding Sausages
Pork and Leek Sausages
Pork Sausages with Extra Black Pepper & Ginger
Pork Sausages with Extra Black Pepper & Garlic
Pork Chops, bone in
Traditional Butcher’s Back Bacon Slices
Pork Loin Steaks
Traditional Butcher’s Streaky Bacon
Chipotle & Cheese Sausages
Traditional Porchetta Roast
Traditional Pork Chop
Pork Mini Shanks
Pork Fillet Medallions
Jumbo Pork Sausages
Black Pudding, Sliced
Thick Cut Pork Chops
Pork Flash Fry Steaks
White Pudding Unsliced
Pork Shoulder Steaks
Pork Shoulder with Crackling
Pigs in Blankets
Dry Cured Smoked Back Bacon
Pork Sausages in Onion & Ale Gravy
Pork Cocktail Sausages
Pork Lorne Sausage Slices
Lamb, Garlic & Rosemary Burgers
Lamb & Serrano Ham Meatballs
Lamb Saddle Steak
Luxury French Trimmed Lamb Rack
Barnsley Lamb Chops
Lamb Saddle Roast
Classic Lamb Burgers
Traditional Family Haggis
Lamb Fore Shanks
Whole Lamb Shoulder
Lamb Valentine Steaks
Easy Carve Lamb Leg
Lamb Loin Chops
Slow-Cooked Lamb Leg
Traditional Rack of Lamb
Lamb’s Liver & Kidney
Double Lamb Loin Chops
Lamb Leg Steaks
Lamb Mini Steaks
Lamb Mini Shoulders
First Cut Lamb Leg Steaks
Diced Lamb Neck Fillet
Thin Cut Spiced Barnsley Lamb Chops
Classic Seasoned Steak Burgers
Steak Fajita Sausages
Daddy Size Steak Burger
Chimichurri Steak Burgers
Steak, Mushroom & Truffle Burgers
Traditional Butcher’s Beef Sausages
Extra Trimmed Rump Roast
Ribeye Steak Burgers
Large Rump Roast
Diced Beef Shin
Extra Trimmed Beef Rib Trim
Diced Beef Steak
Seasoned Beef Burgers
Classic Steak Burgers
Traditional Beef Roasting Joint 1kg
Traditional Butcher’s Beef Sausages
Beef Sirloin Roast with Dijon Mustard and Onion Crust
Carvery Rib Roast
Slow-Cooked Beef Short Rib
Veal Osso Buco
Calf’s Liver Slices
Slow-Cooked Whole Beef Shin
Beef Shoulder Mini Pot Roast
Lean Minced Steak
Rolled Silverside Roast
Beef Topside Mini Roast
Calf’s Liver Strips
Steak, Bacon & Gherkin Burgers
Rolled Beef Brisket
Fillet Steak Burgers
Sirloin Steak Burgers
5 Bone Rib Roast
2 Bone Rib
Aberdeen Angus Burger
Beef Sirloin Mini Roast
Donald Russell boasts an impressive variety of prepared meals. From appetizers to luxury desserts and everything in between. Meal categories include meat, fish, Mediterranean, finger foods, sides, desserts and convenience selections. While you can expect mostly British meals, there are some international dishes and the few French ones are worthy of note.
Boeuf Bourguignon and Coq au Vin are two traditional French meals offered at Donald Russell. Also available is the British variant of the French Cassoulet and also a variation of the Confit de Canard which is named Confit Duck Leg on the website.
These meals would be delivered frozen when purchased.
Donald Russell sources its beef, lamb and game only from the UK.
Pork is sourced from Denmark and approved by the British Quality Approved Pork (BQAP).
The majority of its poultry originates from the Loué region in France where the birds are raised free-range. The company also offers British poultry with the turkeys being sourced from Norfolk and the chickens from Yorkshire.
Animal Welfare is paramount at Ronald Russel so their livestock is only fed grass, hay and silage. This means you can count on the best texture and flavour of the meat.
The company follows strict sustainability policies governed by independent accreditation schemes including Marine Scotland, the Marine Stewardship Council and the Responsibly Sourced Fishing Scheme. Its fish stocks are mostly sourced from Scotland.
Seafood is wild-caught from the Atlantic and the North Sea while most of their fish is sourced from the coasts of the UK. Scottish salmon is sourced from fish farms in Scotland.
Ordering from DonaldRussel.com
Navigating the Donald Russell website and placing an order is reasonably easy. You will be able to add items to your cart right away but an invite to create an account will be displayed before you checkout.
To create an account:
- 1. Log in with your Google or Facebook account. Otherwise, you can sign up with your email address.
- 2. Select items by code or name.
- 3. Choose the weight and quantity of your items and add them to your cart.
- 4. Select a delivery date for your order and enter your payment details.
If you find any difficulty signing up or placing an order, there are two helpful Youtube videos on the website. You can also contact them via live chat!
You can also order by phone between 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm Saturday and 10am – 4pm Sunday.
Deliveries are done on Tuesdays to Thursdays.
The earliest date available for delivery is usually two working days after placing an order.
Next day delivery (select postcodes):
- Order by 11.30am Monday – Friday, get your order the next day.
- Order after 11:30am on Monday, get your order on Wednesday.
- Order after 11:30am on Tuesday, get your order on Thursday.
Donald Russell delivers orders between 7am and 8pm. Though a precise time frame is not available, the drivers do facilitate specific instructions. You can call them on 01467 629666 if you have any questions regarding delivery.
Donald Russell Home Delivery
Donald Russell uses polystyrene boxes but encourages that you pay £4.50 for the biodegradable boxes that are available at checkout. The boxes are sourced from Woolcool, a company that makes sustainable packaging for food.
The box consists of a cardboard exterior with a 100% natural wool lining to keep food frozen. To recycle your wool liner, contact Woolcool at 01785 262030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will provide instructions on how to return the box for free.
UK Mainland and Scottish Island Delivery
The standard delivery fee to a UK mainland or Scottish island is £5.00. This does not include ZE and HS postal areas. Orders over £40 are eligible for free delivery, excluding eco packaging and any gift vouchers used at checkout. The same conditions of the ZE and HS postal areas still apply.
Northern Ireland Delivery
The minimum order threshold for a Northern Ireland delivery is £60. Free delivery is eligible for orders over £80 and below this, the cost for delivery is £12.
Remote Area Delivery
The Outer Hebrides, Shetland, The Channel Islands, Isle of Man, and The Isles of Scilly are considered remote areas. The minimum order threshold for delivery to those areas is £60 and the delivery fee is £12.
Customer Service Contact
Donald Russell’s contact centre opening hours are:
- Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm
- Saturday: 9am – 4pm
- Sunday: 10am – 5pm
You can find customer support by sending a message, calling 01467 629666 or view the FAQ page.
Donald Russell Customer Satisfaction
With 136,972 reviews submitted on Feefo, Donald Russel has an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 for customer experience and a 4.6 out of 5 for product rating. In a recent review, posted on 22/04/2021, somebody commented ”Excellent products, easy to order and delivered promptly. Friendly, helpful staff with telephone ordering but very good online service as well. Good variety of products with helpful meal suggestions. Can’t fault them and highly recommend them.”
A total of 617 reviews were left on Trustpilot with 55% rating Donald Russell as excellent and 22% leaving a bad rating.
The most recent 1-star review posted on 21/04/2021 stated
“The meat is good. All frozen but good. However, if you get on their customer list they will send you mail (not email but actual mail) every other day. This is absolutely insane and so much against the environment. I am out and will never be back as long as they do this kind of things.”
On Amazon, Donald Russell was rated 3.1 out of 5 with a total of 11 reviews. While 32% of the customers left 4-star reviews, 17% had bad experiences with the products and even uploaded photos of unfinished meals. The complaints were mostly about the quality of the steak.
Based on 276 reviews, Donald Russell was rated 5 out of 5 on Facebook. There were mixed opinions despite the rating but that is to expected. It’s worth mentioning that the Donald Russell team responds to complaints within a few days and even offers refunds or compensation to unsatisfied customers.
In conclusion, Donald Russell is no doubt one of the most reputable online butchers. From providing meat to the Royal household to supplying some of the prestigious restaurants and hotels, the company must be doing something right.
Its stance on sustainability and animal welfare is highly commendable and should inspire anyone to purchase from them.