Despite the media hype surrounding bird flu and the discovery of an infected wild swan in Scotland, poultry sales have not declined, the UK’s biggest retailer told just-food today (26 April). In fact, a Tesco representative explained, over the Easter period Tesco saw a 15% rise in turkey sales, while sales of other poultry products and eggs remained strong.

“The message is getting through to British consumers that this is not a food safety issue,” a Tesco spokesperson said.

However, negative press focussing on avian influenza has caused a number of short-term dips in sales and buying trends closely mirror the level of media coverage that the topic receives.

“When there have been media spikes in reports about bird flu, there have been slight dips in sales. But sales returned very quickly and have been relatively stable and strong since Christmas,” Tesco said.