With latest market research predicting the continued rise in sales of game poultry in the UK (Mintel July 2008), and the annual International Guinea Fowl Conference recently held in the US, French Guinea fowl continues to be à la mode. Some 992 tonnes of French Guinea fowl was imported into the UK last year (cumulative Nov. 2009, source: French customs) at a value of around 3.1 million Euros.
The French Guinea Fowl Committee (CIP) has invested in a UK campaign again this year, aiming to raise awareness and increase sales of French Guinea fowl. Highlights of the campaign include:
• a business partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs, incorporating French Guinea fowl information on their website and in their quarterly magazine Stockpot, reaching a potential cumulative audience of 84,000 chefs
• a series of six culinary workshops across the year with trainee chefs led by Andy Stephenson, Head Chef and Owner of Hallidays Restaurant, where a detailed overview of the preparation and uses of French Guinea fowl are explained
• a visit to meat wholesalers at Smithfield market in central London to discuss development opportunities and distribute 250 UK-specific trade leaflets to key stockists
• and a digital direct mailer to over 350 key meat and poultry buyers with key product and purchasing information.
“Our campaign is designed to demonstrate French Guinea fowl’s versatility, point of difference and value for money. Each of the activities is targeted to a specific segment of our key audience – poultry buyers, wholesalers and chefs – and will help them better understand the relevance of French Guinea Fowl to the UK market,” says Jean Champagne of CIP.
Andy Stephenson said: “With most Guinea fowl being consumed in the out of home sector, and an increase of 45 percent in the game and exotic meat market since 2006, it is important for our young chefs to know how to handle the bird and get good value from it. The workshops, aimed at chefs of the future, will give practical tips, techniques and ideas for including Guinea fowl as part of a menu plan.”
Andy adds: “British consumers are looking for interesting and healthy alternatives to the more traditional menu options of chicken and turkey, and Guinea fowl provides the perfect solution. In addition, it is easy to prepare and is a versatile ingredient, allowing chefs to create a wide variety of tasty dishes.”