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Poultry Around the World

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Broilers & Layers / Europe

Lamborghini of chickens gets poor reception

black-chicken-with-veggies.jpg
But due to its meat color, some claim Silkie chickens are high in antioxidants. | sakdinon, Bigstock.com

Premium positioning comes at a price, and it may not be worth paying

June 23, 2016

Most businesses want to move their customers up to premium brands, but sometimes this can go a little too far.

A case in point may be the “Super Black Chicken” being retailed “from GBP48 (USD71) for a 1.4 kg bird” by one UK retailer.

Known in some circles as the "Lamborghini" of chickens, this black meat and skinned bird is, in fact, a Silkie.

Muscle machine of meat

Despite a culinary heritage in the East, in the West, Silkie meat is not commonly consumed. And where something is rare, all sorts of myths arise. Once upon a time Silkies were said to be the offspring of chickens and rabbits!

But that was a long time ago and, with the Silke Club of Great Britain having been established since 1898, these birds are not some amazing new exotic introduction.

But due to their meat color, some are claiming that they are high in antioxidants - whether those antioxidants survive digestion is another matter - while others point to a history in Chinese medicine.

Where the UK retailer MuscleFood.com is concerned, it says that “its premium chicken brings big taste, high protein and around 70 percent less fat than a standard British bird  – a seriously lean muscle machine of meat.”

One hatched every minute

MuscleFood.com may not be quite the first retailers to be selling black chicken in the UK, but it does seem have gained the most publicity.

Some quarters of the press, however, have been far from impressed, claiming that the hefty price - an average UK supermarket small chicken costs around GBP3 (USD4.45) -  has been ruffling a few feathers, and to judge by comments left by its readers, it’s not wrong.

One bright spark commented that the same effect could be achieved by cooking a standard supermarket chicken for twice as long, while others were upset at the thought of eating pets.

Amongst politer comments have been: “I wouldn't buy a single chicken at this price whether it's black, white or bloody luminous purple!”

So retailers beware, premium is relative, but few of us are ready to spend that much on a small chicken, black or otherwise.

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