Sainsbury's claims top for Freedom Food

Sainsbury's is staking its claim to be the number one retailer of Freedom Food-assured products. The chain claims its Freedom Food (FF) sales have doubled to hit the 143m mark, giving it a 62% share of the market.

The supermarket said, according to statistics from Kantar Worldpanel, it now sells more FF chicken than the combined total of all other retailers. To mark the news, Sainsbury's will be airing a new Jamie Oliver advertising campaign from 26 May to promote its range of corn-fed FF chicken.

Sainsbury's said its data showed that volume sales of Freedom Food chicken increased by 90% between 2009 and 2010 and it is growing at a faster rate than all other fresh chicken ranges. In 2006, it said, higher-welfare chicken represented just 14% of its total chicken sales and, this year, it is expected to be 25%.

Judith Batchelar, director of Sainsbury's brand, said: "Animal welfare continues to be one of our customers' top concerns. We've acted faster than any other retailer to increase the range and availability of higher-welfare products at an affordable price."

Leigh Grant, chief executive of Freedom Food, said: "This news is incredibly encouraging. It is clear that farm animal welfare is of paramount importance to more people than ever before. And the fact that Sainsbury's shoppers have stood firm by animal welfare through some of the most difficult economic times only reinforces that it is an issue that is here to stay."

Sainsbury's sells 152 Freedom Food products across a range that consists of chicken, turkey, veal, duck, eggs, pork, sausages and salmon.

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