Game to shoot past £100m sales barrier

Consumers trying new meats at Christmas could help the game category break the £100million sales barrier in 2015.

According to Mintel research, the game meat market is expected to hit the £106m mark, up from £98m in 2014. It also expects growth to continue with sales forecast to reach £143m by 2020.

The growth has been driven by venison, with usage increasing from 13% to 17% over the last 12 months. The research also found that less than one in 10 have eaten hare or rabbit (7%), boar (7%) or pheasant (7%) over the past six months. More exotic game such as quail (4%), partridge (4%), guinea fowl (4%) and grouse (3%) have proven to be less popular with British consumers. Overall, one in four (24%) Brits has eaten game in the last six months.

While 2015 was strong, there is scope for further growth over the next 12 months. Mintel research shows that 41% of Brits say they have not eaten game in the past six months but would be interested in trying it in the future while 51% of poultry and game users say they would be interested in trying game meat which is ready to cook, ie in a tray with a seasoning/marinade.

Emma Clifford, senior food analyst at Mintel, said: “While still small compared to poultry, the value of the game market has shot up by a third over the last five years. This growth is a testament to consumers being experimental with their in-home meals, as part of the growing ‘foodie culture’ in the UK.

“We see consumers looking to expand their repertoires beyond the standard meat and poultry products which are cornerstones of British meal times. Rising interest in scratch cooking and growing confidence in the kitchen is likely to be encouraging more people to branch out to different dishes, and perhaps recreate some which they have enjoyed in restaurants. Exposure of game from TV chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver is also helping to boost awareness of cooking with game and this is feeding through into sales.”

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