NOVEMBER 21, 2008: There has been a big increase in Christmas orders for duck and goose this year, according to a leading supermarket chain.

Waitrose has reported a 71% increase in Christmas orders for duck year on year so far. Orders for goose are also up, by 35%, far outstripping the growth of traditional Christmas fare such as turkey.Waitrose is putting this rise in demand down to a growing number of shoppers looking for an alternative centrepiece for their festive dinner table. Frances Westerman, poultry buyer at Waitrose, said customers are increasingly looking for a new taste experience and foods that pack more punch in terms of flavour.With their sweet, rich meat, duck and goose make a sumptuous change to Christmas staples such as turkey and chicken. This is because duck and goose have a natural marbling of fat, which helps keep the bird moist during roasting.One view among producers is that most people are not prepared to compromise on the festive feast, despite the credit crunch.

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