Lidl claims strong reindeer sales

Rudolph is proving popular on dinner plates this Christmas, with Lidl reporting strong sales of its smoked reindeer.

The reindeer product, part of Lidl’s Deluxe range, has been on sale for just one week. The retailer said it had been particularly popular in stores in the south east.

A Lidl spokesperson added: “We hope that our reindeer, along with our other super-premium products in the Deluxe range, appeal to anyone who has an interest in fine foods, but doesn’t want to pay the high prices usually associated with them.”

Animal welfare group Viva! has slammed Lidl for selling reindeer meat, asking it to withdraw the product “due to the cruelty inherent in modern forms of herding, as well as slaughter methods that may be illegal in the UK”.

However, the retail giant defended its offering: “The smoked reindeer that we sell is from the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region in Siberia. The reindeers pasture freely in the tundra year-round, changing location on almost a weekly basis. They are herded by local native Nenets people, with reindeer farming playing an enormous cultural and economical part in the lives of the people in this region.

“All reindeer are slaughtered in strict accordance with EU guidelines and our own high standards of food safety, hygiene and animal welfare.”

The Guardian ran an online poll asking shoppers whether they would eat reindeer, and 88% of the public answered: “Yes, it’s just like any other meat.”

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