The Countryside Alliance has commissioned a poll that shows that the overwhelming majority of people have never bought game meat in the shops, but they aren’t averse to doing so if the marketing could be optimised.

The polling was undertaken by ORB on behalf of the Alliance last month, and found that 85% of people have never bought pheasant or partridge to cook at home.

When this 85% of people were asked to name the three reasons they never bought game, only 14% said it was because they opposed game shooting. Only 7% said they don’t eat game because of lead, making it the least common answer.

In contrast, 35% think game is “not the sort of food I eat”, 31% have never even considered eating game, 27% have never seen it on offer where they shop, 18% think it is too expensive and 17% don’t eat game because they don’t know how to cook it.

All of these objections can be tackled through effective promotion, marketing and efficiencies in the supply chain.

Countryside Alliance Head of Shooting Liam Stokes said: “This polling shows the enormous potential market for game meat. 85% of people are not buying game to cook at home, but the vast majority of these people are ready to be convinced to give game a try! Interestingly, these results are true everywhere; there is no rural/urban divide. People in London, for example, are just as open to trying game as people in the countryside.

“This is why we are so enthusiastic about the launch of the British Game Alliance. We need a professional, industry-driven marketing board to get out there and help people realise that game is for everyone, to help get game on the shelves at a reasonable price and to show people how to cook it. Initiatives like our own Game to Eat have achieved so much already, but this research shows us we have done it with only 15% of the population on board. Imagine what we can achieve if we can motivate the remaining 85%!”