Venison renaissance

Sainsbury's has launched a range of wild venison sausages, suggesting that game is firmly back on British menus.

The Taste the Difference Scottish wild venison and red wine sausages are flavoured with fresh sage and redcurrant jelly and will be on sale from September. The venison is supplied by Rick Bestwick and comes from Forestry Commission (FSC) forests, which are managed and assessed against strict criteria relating to the economic, environmental and social impacts of forestry.

Rick Bestwick, co-owner of the company, said: "British wild venison ticks all the right boxes. It is packed with taste and flavour, low in fat and comes with guaranteed traceability. The wild deer is supplied by the Forestry Commission, so Sainsbury's is guaranteed continuity of supply and quality of a wild meat.

Wild game has seen a renaissance recently, with strong sales growth for six years running. Support from celebrity chefs and campaigns by promotional body Game To Eat have contributed to the rising popularity of meats such as venison, partridge and pheasant.

"The generic campaign of Game To Eat has definitely raised the profile of British wild game and helped encourage it to be a part to the regular shop," Bestwick said.

"Game's natural seasonality sets it apart from red meat and poultry, but these venison sausages go a long way to bringing home the message that wild game can be a regular appearance on the shopping list."

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