Game meat is growing ever popular, with an increase in sales for five straight years.
Supermarket favourites such as beef, chicken, pork and lamb will always be very hard to beat in terms of popularity and price. Of course, these animals are farmed through huge production lines worldwide, specifically for their meat. This makes it both cheap and plentiful. Unsurprisingly, 91% of meat eaters eat chicken. Despite this, the sales of game meat just keep on rising. In fact, Mintel, a private market research company, has recorded improved sales numbers for every calendar year since 2014.
2018 saw a 5% rise in total sales value on the previous year, totalling £126 million for the year total. If you’re wondering why this is, there are actually a few statistics that could explain exactly why this rise continues to progress. Mintel conducted a survey with the British public in which they asked questions on a number of different topics such as their own uses, the drivers of the market, the factors that are influencing their decisions, and the values which are important to them. Some of the results that popped up could be huge to answering the question ‘Why?’.
40% of people said that it’s important their meat is of British origin. No one wants to put lamb chops in their basket if they’ve already made an 11,000 mile trip from New Zealand just to get there. Nor will may people buy a chicken breast that been shipped over the British Channel on the back of a huge cargo boat. Not only is it extremely bad for the environment but it’ll affect the quality of the meat too!
With this statistic in mind, we can start to understand why game meat might be more appealing, perhaps. Pheasant, Venison, Grouse - all of these are going to be sourced locally from farms that are virtually down the road, whilst also being killed with population conservation in mind. Consumers should be aware that game meat is historically British in origin and always killed humanely, unlike more common options. This means it’s a far safer option for them if they’re worried about being able to trace where it came from.
Two more factors that could play a part are fat content and experimentation. Firstly, nearly thirty per cent (28%) of consumers have made it clear that low-fat, healthier options are a lot more important to them now than they once were, as we live in a society which is becoming increasingly more conscious about leading a healthy lifestyle. Game animals aren’t nurtured to be big, fat and juicy; they lead free and active lifestyles with space to roam and enjoy life. This results in healthy, conditioned meat that is lean and virtually fat-free. Once again, game meat trumps your regular chicken.
In terms of experimentation, the Mintel report suggests that a third of people are always looking to try new foods and experiment with alternative meal choices in an attempt to be more diverse and adventurous. This clearly points to the consumption of game meat which is far away from most people’s regular diet plan. Swapping beef for venison, for example, is a quick and easy change which may make you feel a little better about yourself when trying to mix things up.
Let's hope that this increase in game consumption means more people getting into shooting activities as a direct correlation!