'Horsegate' might have put Britons off cheap sausages, but demand for Cranswick’s posh bangers such as wild vension with redcurrant and red wine and duck with red cherries and port is absolutely sizzling.
Sales at the pork processor shot up 15 per cent in the three months to April, when Tesco and other supermarkets admitted some of their beef products actually contained horse meat.
“We’re seeing a continual trading up to premium sausages,” Mark Bottomley, Cranswick’s finance director, said.
“Only 15 years ago, this just wasn’t a part of the market, now premium sausages account for 40% of UK sausage sales.
“Recent [horsegate] events certainly focus people’s minds, and we’d like to think we are producing a premium product and that strikes a chord with the consumer.”
Cranswick carried out DNA checks on its own meat, but did not find any horse.
Bottomly added that supermarkets and other buyers — Cranswick supplies to retailers including Marks & Spencer and Asda — had not ramped up their number of factory visits.
“Their audits are already thorough and frequent,” he said.
“I think retailers will look to suppliers with a robust supply chain that can assure providence. How that will manifest in additional business for us is yet to be seen.”
The firm , whose brands include The Black Farmer and Weightwatcher’s sausages, saw its underlying sales rise 5 per cent in the year to April.