A new breed of welfare-friendly chicken has been launched into Sainsbury stores.
Meat and poultry supplier Lloyd Maunder is behind the Devonshire White chicken, produced to RSPCA higher welfare standards under the Freedom Foods label.
The chicken is in 70 Sainsbury stores and the processor said other retailers were also showing interest.
The Devonshire White is a naturally slower growing bird reared in conditions which allow it room to flap and indulge its inquisitive nature.
The bird is even given plastic footballs to play with, said commercial director Andrew Maunder, adding the conditions are not only better for the birds, but produce a meat with improved texture and flavour.
“This growing system costs more to operate than standard chicken production, but we’ve held down the extras to an acceptable amount.
“We believe customers will agree it is worth paying a small premium.”