Wild game specialist Wild and Game was founded with the mission of making the UK into a nation of game lovers – and it’s well on its way to success. We caught up with co-founder Steven Frampton to learn about the company’s bumper 2022.
Wild and Game started life in 2017 with the vision of transforming the game market in the UK. Game is in plentiful supply here, but it’s a rare sight in supermarkets and many people have never even tried it.
Wild and Game’s co-founders Steven Frampton and Michael Cannon saw this as an opportunity. UK wild game has excellent sustainability credentials: its production has a low carbon footprint and tends to protect biodiversity; venison, for example, is produced by necessary culling that helps maintain the natural balance.
Steven and Michael felt it was time to put game on more people’s plates, and they decided to do this by demystifying it. They started by creating a range of pies, pasties, sausages, burgers, pâtés, and ready meals, all based on the UK’s favourite dishes – but using game as a key ingredient.
Their offerings include pheasant curries, pheasant, steak and ale pies, huntsman’s pies, venison sausages, game burgers and more. The aim is to get people used to eating game and then encourage them to try cooking with it. The company sells a broad range of game meat, and its monthly recipe boxes, each including a booklet of seasonal recipes, help people discover new ways to enjoy game.
“We’ve been delighted to see more and more people trying game for the first time and then coming back for more,” says Steven. “The growing appetite was reflected by the success of our recent equity fundraiser, which far exceeded our £200,000 target, bringing in over £500,000 in investment.”
The Crowdcube fundraiser has helped the company move on to its next chapter, investing in more marketing and funding its move to its own fulfilment centre in the West Country. Taking control of its own distribution has enabled Wild and Game to offer next day and weekend delivery and drive up its service standards.
Meanwhile, its product range continues to grow. Charcuterie, marinated meats, and new pies have been added to the offering, and several new ready meals are in development.
Wild and Game’s online business grew dramatically during lockdown, when it offered bargain isolation boxes to help people through the pandemic. Crucially, its customers have stayed on board, with many becoming regular subscribers.
Wild and Game also sells wholesale to farm shops, delis and supermarkets, and is on the road to achieving its ambition of making game as common a sight in supermarkets as chicken or beef.
“We’ve got big plans for the next few years,” says Steven. “We’re passionate about game meat – it’s lean, high in protein and good for the environment, and amid the cost-of-living crisis it’s important to offer people great value deals, which is what we’re doing. Game is for everyone, not just people who go and shoot their own. It’s definitely the meat of the future.”