Freedom Food Chicken Sales On The Up


I received an email yesterday on behalf of the RSPCA to thank me for writing about the Quash the Squash campaign last year (and BBQ Source, and People’s Choice!).

They wanted to let me know that thanks to coverage like mine, and despite the recession, people are choosing to buy more RSPCA Freedom Food labelled indoor chicken than ever before, while sales of ‘standard’ chicken have dropped

Freedom Food chicken sales are on the up as ‘standard’ takes a downturn, new research reveals.

New research reveals people are choosing to buy more Freedom Food labelled indoor chicken than ever before, whilst lower welfare ‘standard’ chicken is taking a downturn.

This news comes despite growing unemployment over the past year, showing that people are not prepared to cut corners when it comes to animal welfare.

The research – carried out by Kantar Worldpanel for RSPCA Freedom Food – reveals growth and spend on Freedom Food indoor reared chicken is far outstripping ‘standard’, with a staggering 55.2 million pound increase in consumer spending on Freedom Food labelled chicken (from 16.4 million to 71.6 million) since March last year.

This compares to a drop of more than 26 million pounds spent on ‘standard’ chicken – proof that animal welfare is still on the shopping list of even the most budget-conscious consumers.

This news comes more than two years after chicken welfare hit the headlines with high profile campaigns by Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Leigh Grant, Freedom Food’s chief executive, said:

“We expected to see an increase in sales of Freedom Food chicken after Jamie and Hugh highlighted the benefits of buying higher welfare back in 2008 – but these latest results far exceed anything we could have predicted. They are absolute proof that chicken welfare is of paramount importance to more people than ever before. And the fact shoppers have stood firm by animal welfare through some of the most difficult economic times only reinforces that it is an issue that is here to stay.”

The research shows that Sainsbury’s is the largest retailer of Freedom Food chicken, followed by Tesco and then Morrisons.

The RSPCA want to let everybody know that they are really having an impact on animal welfare when they choose higher welfare chicken, and they want to make it clear that people really do care.  So, they are running a poll asking how you would feel if your supermarket removed your higher welfare chicken option, and what would you do?
You can read more about it and answer the poll here on the RSPCA website.