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As a not-for-profit company seeking to increase game consumption in the UK, Wild and Game is addressing an issue that has existed in the shooting community for many years. Large numbers of birds, in particular, are shot on commercial shoots yet they are not widely consumed in the UK, leading to a surplus supply.
Wild and Game founders Steven Frampton and Michael Cannon decided to address this directly by founding a company that would spark interest in eating game in the UK. Their ultimate aim is to see game as a common fixture on UK supermarket shelves, along with perennial favourites such as beef and chicken.
Their approach is simple: while they sell prime quality game meat for cooking at home, a large part of their offering is focused on creating game versions of some of the UK’s favourite dishes. They founded the company in 2017 with a selection of sausage rolls, pasties and ready meals focused on popular dishes such as chilli, lasagne and curry. Since then they have steadily introduced more products – among them pates, burgers, sausages and game versions of traditional pork pies.
“We are constantly looking for new products that can be reinvented using game,” says Steven. “We work with a range of producers, ensuring that each product is developed and manufactured by a supplier with a strong track record delivering that type of product. In several cases these are award-winning producers, and their success has been reflected in the products they produce for us. Our pork, pheasant and caramelised onion pie, for instance, won a gold award at the British Pie Awards 2019. We’ve been delighted by the feedback we’ve had for our products, and as our sales and stockists increase, we are keen to keep growing our offering to convert more people to the joys of eating such healthy, flavourful meat.”
The Wild and Game website is also stocked with recipes to inspire customers to try out cooking with game themselves – often for the first time.
“People can be a bit intimidated by the idea of cooking with game, but our ready-made products show how well it works as an ingredient,” says Steven. “We have seen a rise in purchases of ready-to-cook meat as well as a steady rise in customers buying our ready-made items.”
Their dream of seeing a wide selection of game on supermarket shelves may still be a way off, but the company is seeing more and more smaller shops, farm shops and delicatessens embrace their product offering.
“The change won’t happen overnight but we’re confident we’re heading in the right direction,” says Steven.