Ostrich is tipped to become a more common sight in British supermarkets as interest in the meat grows.
Tesco is trialling free-range South African ostrich kebabs in 400 stores, and is displaying 300g packs of four Mossel Bay ostrich kebabs for £5 on gondola end displays. Aldi will roll out ostrich kebabs in September and Lidl plans to carry ostrich meat this Christmas.
The kebabs in Tesco are supplied by wholesaler DB Foods, which said a trial of Mossel Bay ostrich steaks there in March had gone “very well.” Both were sourced and processed in South Africa as part of an exclusive deal with Western Cape-based co-operative Mosstrich.
Tesco buyer Megan Kent said speciality meats were increasingly popular with customers. “These ostrich kebabs are perfect for a summer barbecue,” she added.
DB Foods is already supplying more than 2,000 high street butchers and Whole Foods Market with the kebabs and CEO Ben Bayer said ostrich was set to become increasingly visible to consumers.
“It’s our ambition to see ostrich become a mainstream line. It’s nutritional, has a great taste and is a healthy red meat,” he claimed.
DB was in talks with other retailers over Mossel Bay ostrich, said Bayer, who dismissed animal welfare concerns raised when the meat was sold in the UK in the 1990s. “We have worked closely with Mosstrich on animal welfare,” he said.
To grow interest in a speciality meat suppliers needed to generate awareness of dishes where the meat made a tangible difference, said Claire Nuttall, partner at branding agency Thrive Unlimited. “Or they need to demonstrate another benefit, such as price, Health or ethics, to make the meats feel like more than a one-off curiosity.”
Aldi has previously stocked ostrich and Lidl last carried it in 2011.