Goose fat for Christmas feels price pressure from German demand

Less goose fat is making its way into the supply chain

Soaring demand for geese in Germany is threatening to push up the cost of the British Christmas dinner - as goose fat prices rocket for a second year running.

The wholesale price of goose fat has risen by as much as 50% over the past year, having risen by a similar margin the year before, according to fine food importers RH Amar.

Growing demand - especially in the run-up to Christmas - has put pressure on prices, but the biggest problem has been on the supply side.

Less goose fat has been entering the supply chain because producers in Eastern Europe, particularly Poland, have been selling more whole birds in response to growing demand from Germany. As a result, fewer birds have been available for processing into different cuts and uses, including goose fat.

Hikes in the price of corn - used as a feed for geese - had also contributed to the higher price of the fat, she added.

Although bad news for consumers, rising prices presented an opportunity for domestic producers, said George Munns of L & AE Munns and Son.

Because UK-sourced goose fat is British and - unlike foreign goose fat - the supply chain is not associated with the controversial production of foie gras, it trades at a premium.

However, Munns said British-produced goose fat still had some way to go before it became mainstream. “There is tremendous demand for domestic product, but supplies are limited so larger-scale buyers often dismiss the product ahead of negotiation and opt for imported instead,” he said.