TV show sees a result

PUBLISHED: 12:19 20 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:32 15 June 2010

HUGH Fearnley-Whittingstall's Chicken Run television series has changed the nation's eating habits - according to recent research. Since the free-range chicken experiment based in Axminster appeared on national television for three consecutive nights in J

HUGH Fearnley-Whittingstall's Chicken Run television series has changed the nation's eating habits - according to recent research.Since the free-range chicken experiment based in Axminster appeared on national television for three consecutive nights in January, 38 per cent of people canvassed say they have swapped intensively farmed chicken for free-range, forever.The research also shows that people living in semi-detached housing are more likely to go "free-range" than those living in any other type of housing in the UK, indicating that the "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality is still alive and well in the UK.The most conscious age groups have been identified as those between 25- and 34-years-old and those over 65, with 41 per cent of each age group altering their shopping habits from regularly buying intensively farmed to free-range chicken.However, bucking the trend are the 40 per cent of UK men asked, who were sticking resolutely to buying intensively farmed meat, saying that the increased profile surrounding chicken farming methods has "not made an impact on them".Alan Thorpe, commercial and operations director at G2 Data Dynamics, the company which carried out the research, said: "Clearly there are some groups out there that need to be a little more hen-pecked if they are to change their chicken purchasing habits. "But on a more serious note, whilst a fun survey, it is this kind of insight that enables the consumer to make themselves heard and sow the seed of change in farming practices for the future."Following on from the research, Herald reporter Matthew Low asked people in this area whether Hugh's Chicken Run had an impact on them.Robert Porter, 51, from Hawkchurch, said: "I don't agree with the way they keep chickens but I'm more concerned about the cost to me so I will always buy the cheaper option."Samantha Grey, 27, from Musbury Road, Axminster, said: "Me and my family have started eating free-range chickens since the series on TV."It's horrible the way they kept those chickens, all cooped up like that."Annie Fisher, 53, from Lyme Road, Axminster, said: "I was shocked at the Chicken Run series and now I only buy free-range."If we all do our bit and buy free-range then the supermarkets will have to start supplying more."Barry Horne, 61, from Woodbury Lane, Axminster, said: "I actually think free-range tastes better so I've always bought them, even before the TV series."I think it's good what Hugh is doing and I think we should support him."Anything that gives animals a better life is a good thing.

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