Sales of Freedom Food chicken are growing dramatically at a time when standard chicken sales are falling, according to new figures released by the RSPCA.

The animal welfare charity said the spend on Freedom Food fresh indoor reared chicken had soared from just £16.4m a year ago to £55.2m [Kantar Worldpanel, 52 w/e 21 March].

In the same period standard chicken had seen a drop of £26m.

Two years ago Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver launched high-profile campaigns to persuade shoppers to switch to higher welfare poultry.

“These figures are absolute proof that chicken welfare is of paramount importance to more people than ever before,” said Freedom Food boss Leigh Grant.

“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.”

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