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Game specialist Wild and Game has continued to grow rapidly in 2021. The company’s co-founder Steven Frampton talks to us about this year’s highlights and the company’s plans for the future.
It’s been a busy year for Wild and Game: the company’s online customer base continues to expand, and it’s also growing the wholesale side of the business, with listings in selected some large multiples. This is in line with the company’s founding mission: to make game as common as beef, lamb and pork in British supermarkets and on British dinner tables.
“We’re very much on track,” says Wild and Game’s co-founder Steven Frampton. “When the first COVID-19 lockdown hot in 2020, it drove a big surge of interest in our direct to consumer offering and that appetite has continued throughout 2021. We’re pleased to find that customers come to us to try a few items – often our pies or ready meals – and then come back to try more. They gradually get more adventurous and start cooking their own game dishes.”
The company has always placed a firm emphasis on protecting the environment: all the game it sells is wild, British and sustainably sourced, and its deliveries go out in recyclable cardboard boxes lined with Wool Cool insulation, which is recyclable and can also be repurposed for everything from animal beds to furniture padding.
“It’s never been more important to consider factors such as carbon emissions, sustainability and protection of natural environments,” says Steve. “One of our main drivers is our knowledge that wild game is one of the most sustainable, environmentally friendly food sources we have here in the UK, and we’ve worked to make sure all aspects of our business are in line with that.”
As its customer base has increased, Wild and Game has expanded its range to offer game charcuterie and non-game items including artisan cheeses, beef, lamb and pork.
“We have worked hard to source excellent quality, sustainably produced meat from producers with the highest levels of animal welfare,” says Steve. “It was important to keep our non-game meat offerings in line with our game offering in that respect, and these new meats have been a great hit with our customers – so much so that we’ve recently expanded our range. People come to us for the game but love that they can now buy other meats at the same time.”
While grouse season has been a disappointment this year, with very low supplies, Wild and Game has sold large amounts of pheasant and partridge, and the popularity of venison is soaring. It’s also sourced wild rabbit for the first time, which has been another big hit.
Looking ahead, the company has created its biggest ever hampers for the Christmas market, with the aim of showcasing the very best of what it has to offer, from three bird Christmas roasts with game pigs in blankets through to Boxing Day buffet spreads of charcuterie, pate, and pies. Meanwhile, the team are working on expanding their range of game still further: look out for new cuts of ready to cook meat coming soon.
“It’s been a year of rapid growth and we plan to continue that in 2022,” says Steve. “We’d like to stay a special thank you to all out loyal customers who have given us their support so far – we hope they’ll stay with us for many years to come.”