Food trends

Demand for venison on menus growing

By Jo Bruce

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Meat

Venison is an ingredient to watch
Venison is an ingredient to watch
British consumers have an increasing appetite for venison according to new research.

Sales of the dark meat year were up 400% in the past year, with market analysts Mintel labelling it a market to watch.

Mintel said its appeal has been boosted by its healthier positioning than red meat, containing approximately a third of the fat found in beef.

The research shows there has been a hike in game sales in 2014, with annual growth estimated at 9%, bringing the total value of the market to £97 million.

However the research also shows that game remains a niche market, with just one in five adults having eaten game in the six months to July 2014.  

Supermarket growth

Growth has been facilitated by the growing availability of venison in supermarkets.

Game has also becoming an increasing focus for top-end restaurant and pub operators. Supplier the Wild Game Co opened a restaurant in London’s Soho earlier this year and also operates a pop up. The menu is dominated by wild venison including burgers and steaks from deer shot on his family’s estate in Scotland.

Chefs like Mike Robinson have also championed game at his pubs the Pot Kiln in Frilsham, Berkshire and the Michelin-starred Harwood Arms in London's Fulham.

New venison recipe book

A new cookbook ‘Venison – the game larder’ is being launched on 1 August by José Souto, senior chef/lecturer in Culinary Arts at Westminster Kingsway College in London.

The book includes 50 recipes, including 30 of his own. The game expert, who gives masterclasses on the preparation and game cookery to other chefs worldwide, as well as teaching student chefs how to cook venison, has also invited guest chefs to add their own recipes.

It also includes pictures from world-renowned photographer Steve Lee including British deer and deer-stalking. It costs £25 and is published by Merlin Unwin Books.

Promotional week

Game marketing associations Taste of Game and game-to-eat are again organising Great British Game Week which will run from November 23 to 30 and is an ideal opportunity for pub caterers to feature game dishes on their menus.

Related topics: Food trends

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