Sales of game meat increased by five per cent in the last year to £126 million, according to a report obtained by BASC.
The research, obtained from independent market researcher Mintel, shows that sales of game meat have increased for the fifth year running.
Annette Woolcock, head of BASC’s Taste of Game, said the increase had been driven by increased availability at supermarkets and a consumer desire to try new foods.
She said: “Thirty two per cent of adults surveyed said they look for new foods to try most of the time. Adults often buy meat after trying it for the first time in a restaurant or at a friend’s house. This gives people who eat game meat an ideal opportunity to increase the market further by introducing a friend to the delicious flavours of game meat.”
The increase comes despite 64 per cent of people surveyed saying they would cut back on buying meat amid rising prices.
Mrs Woolcock added: “It is really encouraging to see game meat sales continuing to rise in such a tough market with 34 per cent of people surveyed saying they were limiting or reducing the amount of meat in their diet and a further 21 per cent interested in doing so.
“Mintel have reported ‘more education on how to cook game would likely resonate with the consumer’ which is exactly where Taste of Game’s School Game Changer Project is so vitally important in instilling those skills into the next generation. To date we have taught more than 14,000 students how to cook pheasant. This will have a huge impact on game sales in years to come.”
Fifty five per cent of respondents said spending time at home cooking was enjoyable and 67 per cent said recipe suggestions were a good way to learn how to cook different meats.
The report also suggests game should capitalise on its benefits to increase the market and should be labelling the products with low in fat, high in protein and British rather than the consumer being left to surmise.
Mrs Woolcock added: “The sustainable supply of game meat to the food chain is one of the most important issues facing shooting today.
“Shoots must take responsibility to ensure they have a sustainable market for what they shoot before they shoot it. People involved in shooting sports can help with this by spreading the word about the great taste of game. They could give a dressed brace to a friend or speak to local pubs and restaurants about putting it on the menu.”