Sales of game meat increased by 8.6 per cent in the last year to £114 million, according to a report obtained by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).
The research, obtained from independent market researcher Mintel, show that sales of game meat have increased for the fourth year running.
The report shows 14 per cent of the UK population eat game with half of that group eating game between three or four times a week to once or twice a month.
The report shows that 25-34-year-olds eat the broadest range of types of unprocessed game meat. This is in line with this age group typically having a more adventurous attitude towards food and drink, with a greater tendency to seek out new foods and flavours to try.
Sixty seven per cent of consumers say that being able to trace a meat product back to the farm or estate it came from would make it more trustworthy.
While ‘flexitarian’ and meat-free diets have seen a rising profile in recent years, red meat, poultry and game remain an ingrained part of British diets. The report says 93 per cent of adults have eaten unprocessed meat in the three months to August 2017.
Annette Woolcock, development manager for BASC’s Taste of Game game meat promotion campaign, said: “The growth enjoyed by game meat in recent years has largely stemmed from niche products and increased availability.
“There is still considerable potential to grow volume sales through wider distribution i.e. adding value with ready meals etc. which the industry has not really embraced yet. It is extremely important that the development of game meat products is increased.
“However, the sustainable supply of game meat to the food chain is one of the most important issues facing game shooting. All shoots must take responsibility to ensure they have a sustainable market for what they shoot before they shoot. People who shoot 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.”