The bird raised for the product will be Lloyd Maunder’s exclusive Devonshire White, which will be reared indoors under the RSPCA’s Freedom Foods higher welfare scheme.
A Sparky Brand chicken is already on sale in Selfridges. But this is a traditional Belgian breed, Coq Ardennais, that takes 100 days to mature.
This compares with 42
days for standard British broilers, and results in a price of £5.95/kg - three times the price of a standard chicken in the UK. But Sparky Brand founder Jeremy Schwartz said that switching to the Devonshire White, which is slaughtered at 50 days, would enable it to market a chicken in supermarkets at £4.55/kg.
This is in a similar bracket to the Taste The Difference free-range West Country bird on sale in Sainsbury, which currently retails at £3.99/kg, and is also produced by Lloyd Maunder.
Schwartz said: “We knew that a 100-day chicken would be too challenging to supply the supermarkets with, but we have got that down to 50 days. It is a more affordable bird that will go into supermarkets shortly.”
The high levels of Omega-3 in the meat are achieved by feeding the chickens on a diet rich in the healthy fatty acid.
The birds’ meat provides 20% of the recommended daily intake of long chain Omega-3 in a 150g portion of skinless breast or thigh as a result.
If the skin is left on, then the same portion can provide more than 200% of a person’s recommended daily intake.
The make-up of the feed is a secret. Schwartz would only reveal that the chickens eat “Omega-3 rich plants, sourced exclusively by Sparky Brand”.
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