Home cooking trend boosts duck sales

A FARMING and food processing firm is celebrating sales growth of 15% in the last year as downturn-hit consumers treat themselves to roast duck at home.

A FARMING and food processing firm is celebrating sales growth of 15% in the last year as downturn-hit consumers treat themselves to roast duck at home.

Gressingham Foods, based at Debach, near Woodbridge, which rears and sells a range of food products including duck, says this year's turnover is �75million and it continues to employ around 500 staff at the plant, with an additional 150 seasonal workers at Christmas.

“During these tough economic times, Gressingham have shown as impressive level of growth and have maintained a steady level of investment,” a spokesperson said. “Sales have continued to rise, despite the economic downturn.”

The speciality duck and game business has seen sales levels to all its major retailer customers remain steady, and says increased promotions and special offers have ensured that duck as a product is gradually being introduced to a wider consumer market, while sales to the Chinese and wholesale markets have also gone up.


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Commercial director William Buchanan said: “When times are tough, people who would usually eat out on a regular basis cut back on this luxury. However, they will often buy a 'luxury' product to eat at home instead, so sales of meat such as duck can actually increase during a downturn.”

Nearly all the farms owned by the company are now Freedom Food approved, in spite of the high cost - running into tens of thousands of pounds - to convert them, and the firm says it is continuing to invest in facilities and environmental improvements.

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“While many companies in the region are having to lay off staff, Gressingham have managed to retain all their permanent members of staff and continue to recruit as the company grows,” the spokesperson said.

“It's not all doom and gloom in the region. Some companies are steadily making their way through the recession and some, such as Gressingham, are actually managing to successfully grow during this time and bring much-needed prosperity to the region.”

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