Pre-Christmas orders for duck and goose are soaring this year as consumers look for more adventurous alternatives to turkey and chicken, Waitrose has reported.

The number of Christmas orders placed for duck at Waitrose are already up 88% year-on-year, with goose up 35%.

"The figures suggest duck and goose are fast becoming this season's must-haves," said Waitrose poultry buyer Frances Westerman. "Consumers are looking for a new taste experience and foods with more punch in flavour."

The popularity of duck had also been boosted by price rises in other categories, claimed supplier Gressingham Foods. "We've benefited in duck this year because beef and lamb have gone up in price," said commercial director William Buchanan,

Waitrose's share of the retail duck market has increased from 5% to 8.2% year-on-year [TNS 52w/e 5 October].