majorpheasantWith game making its annual appearance in the food calendar Game-to-Eat, the marketing initiative behind broadening the appeal of game to a wider audience decided it was time to check out what appeals to the 2012 consumer when it comes to buying, cooking and eating game.

With game making its annual appearance in the food calendar Game-to-Eat, the marketing initiative behind broadening the appeal of game to a wider audience decided it was time to check out what appeals to the 2012 consumer when it comes to buying, cooking and eating game.

97% of those surveyed had tried game meat and interestingly 96.9% chose pheasant as their preferred option.  Although there was no definitive reason given for pheasant being the first choice, Game-to-Eat is delighted with this apparent trend towards a growing interest in pheasant over venison, the latter which has long been popular as it is available all year round and is famed for being one of the lowest fat red meats.

When asked to rate game in comparison to other meats 78% felt taste was the most important aspect closely followed by it being a healthy option.

Commenting on the survey’s other findings, Alexia Robinson, of Game-to-Eat, said: “Our survey also found that when asked what was the main catalyst for people to purchase game, only 12% of respondents were influenced by celebrity chefs, their food programmes, cookery books, magazine and national newspapers coverage.  A far greater influencer was the recommendation of friends; nearly 43% of respondents said that they bought game having been advised to do so by friends.  This would appear to indicate that personal recommendation and recipe sharing between friends really does have a big impact on encouraging people to give game a go.  This is something we see on a day-to-day basis through Game-to-Eat’s social media activities.

Robinson continues: “The survey also showed that another 43% of respondents first experienced game in restaurants.  Eating game for the first time when eating out is a trend that has been in evidence for a long time.  Our survey emphasises how important the experience of eating game for the first time in a pub or restaurant is in introducing new consumers to game and giving them an incentive to cook it at home.  This is why Game-to-Eat has had such a big focus on the food service sector over the years and continues to work closely with chefs, caterers and pub groups to ensure game is central to the autumn menu.”

On the retail front, when Game-to-Eat started promoting British wild game 11 years ago game was mainly available through butchers and estates.   As a result of Game-to-Eat’s activities, game now has a much greater presence in many of the major supermarkets.    However, the survey showed that independent retailers remain top of the pops for game.  41% of respondents still prefer to purchase game from their local butcher.  Robinson suggests that this may be due to consumers preferring the one to one advice they can get in a butchers shop.

With game’s first ‘Game to Eat Month’ promotion about to take place in November, Robinson concludes with a strong message for independent retailers and pubs: “Game-to-Eat’s survey shows that the start of the game season provides promotionally orientated butchers and pubs with a great opportunity to increase sales through putting British game on the menu or shop shelves.    At a time when the high street is struggling game, which is truly seasonal local produce, is a great promotional tool.”

Game-to-Eat provides a comprehensive programme of support for butchers and chefs all provided free of charge: exceptional quality recipe booklets, counter dispensers and eye catching A3 promotional posters; free advertising on www.gametoeat.co.uk and, new for this season, a beautiful collection of three Game-to-Eat recipe booklets from celebrity chefs.

For further information about game, please see http://www.gametoeat.co.uk and for regular recipe ideas and tips about purchasing and cooking game follow us on Twitter @GametoEat.  ‘Game to Eat Month: Go Wild with British Game’ takes place this November.  For information about how to take part and for details about what is happening in your area, seewww.gametoeat.co.uk

Source:  Survey Monkey July 20120