Game is going mainstream in the UK, with sales set to soar further, says one of the country sports’ leading public figures.
And, says renowned shot and stalker Claire Zambuni, rising demand could drive improved margins for the whole supply chain, benefitting the rural economy as a whole.
The BASC Council member and regular magazine columnist says extensive TV coverage of celebrity chefs such as Marco Pierre White, Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall out in the field have had a major impact on perceptions of game, as have BASC’s and the Countryside Alliance’s own campaigns.
“Sales are worth £84m a year now and our consultancy work with supermarket groups suggests demand is only heading upwards,” said Zambuni, also a senior partner of country lifestyle PR agency Zambuni Paver, currently working with a number of food businesses on product development and promotion.
She believes that TV coverage of popular figures such as Oliver and Fearnley-Whittingstall out shooting, then explaining the health benefits of free-range meat continues to de-mystify what game is about.
“It’s all about knowledge. If the public know about something it gives them the confidence to try it out and there’s a pointer here for how the whole country sports sector secures wider acceptance of, and support for, its practices.
“We can expect to see not just more supermarkets launching ready-prepared game and game-based ready-meals, but also improvements in their shelf-positioning, which of itself is a huge factor in demand at the point of sale. If demand continues to rise as it has then we could see better prices feed through the supply chain, to the benefit of the rural economy as a whole.”