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Pheasants and quails to be sold as ready meals in supermarkets to counter ‘posh image’

Would you reach for a pheasant steak ready meal?

Olivia Petter
Monday 02 April 2018 16:46 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

When it comes to supermarket ready meals, convenience dictates that you’re far more likely to come across a traditional fish pie than, say, a juicy pheasant steak.

However, that could all be about to change, as the British Game Alliance (BGA) has announced plans to launch a campaign to bring ready meals made from pheasants and quails to UK supermarkets.

The initiative comes as part of BGA’s plans to shift the “posh image” that has long-been associated with game in an attempt to give these foods more mainstream appeal, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Describing itself as a “not-for-profit organisation acting on behalf of the shooting community’s best interest”, the BGA hopes that the campaign will resonate with millennials, particularly those who feel they have no time to cook and hence, prefer to dine on ready meals.

Thomas Adams, BGA’s managing director, explained that game is currently seen as “a specialist thing to cook” and his intention is to revitalise the image of pheasants and quails, making them seem like more accessible ingredients.

“[Game] has elements of premium about it - it costs a lot to rear it, you will never get it down to terrible, low costs of battery chickens because of the welfare standards,” he added.

That’s not to say that game products aren’t already readily-available in supermarkets.

Waitrose sell partridge breast fillets, venison burgers and whole guinea fowl; though they are only currently available in their raw, uncooked form and subsequently lack the convenience appeal of a ready meal version.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Adams explained that he wants game to be seen as a sustainable, protein-rich food that needn't take too much fuss to enjoy.

“Game comes across as this archaic upper-class product, when actually it is by far the healthiest of all the meats, in terms of nutritional value, way higher in protein, less fat than chicken,” he said.

The health benefits of game are well-documented, with experts lauding lean wild game meats, such as venison and elk, for their low-fat content and rich zinc and iron levels.

Adams also believes that the game market could tap into the rising interest in sustainable eating, given that it is easily-sourced in the UK and, as he explains, Brits currently don’t consume anywhere near as much game as we produce.

So, the next time you’re browsing the supermarket shelves for a quick and easy ready meal, don’t be alarmed if you see a decadent deep-fried quail steak on the shelf next to a somewhat grim-looking chicken tikka masala.

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