Fur Feather & Fin – Supermarkets increase game stocks

The article below was published by Fur, Feather & Fin.

While gamekeepers have been managing game stocks for centuries, supermarkets have only been doing so for a short time – but they’re starting to catch up.

A number of UK supermarkets have recently started upping their game – literally – when it comes to stocking the product of country sports.

This is the news that several major UK supermarkets have started to dramatically increase the amount of game stocked in their stores as consumer demand rises. With 25 per cent of Britons having enjoyed some form of game product in the last six months, chain stores like Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco are starting to respond accordingly.

Marks & Spencer’s food department has put in orders with Yorkshire Game, as has Sainsbury’s, Aldi has signed a contract with Highland Game and even Iceland is now selling grouse sourced from Scottish company Kezie Foods. Morrisons has gone a step further and launched its own brand of game products, Wild as Nature Intended.

Since 40 per cent of people in the UK say they would be prepared to try any game product, supermarkets cannot afford to ignore this market. With people becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits wild game offers, thanks to initiatives such as the Countryside Alliance’s Game to Eat campaign, it is certainly a lucrative market.

The Countryside Alliance’s Jack Knott said: “Consumers are looking for increasingly reliable and healthy foods, and there is no reason wild game shouldn’t be at the forefront of the market. Butchers have long been filling their shelves with wild game cuts and now we are seeing supermarkets follow suit with an even wider range of products including game ready-meals which allow customers to sample game without having to worry about cooking something with which they are unfamiliar.”

As our readers will know, venison is high in protein and contains higher levels of iron than any other red meat, while all other game is wild, natural and free range, low in fat and cholesterol, and also contains no additives.

Given the health benefits it is of little surprise the general public is beginning to enjoy produce countryside folk have enjoyed for years.

Stephen Crouch, the chairman of the National Game Dealers Association, said: “The game market certainly looks strong right now and for the future, which is obviously good news for the future of shooting.”

If you fancy trying out a game recipe, why not use some of our country kitchen essentials to put it together?