ALDI will run a limited trial of an RSPCA Assured indoor chicken in three locations.
The move is significant because it represents a foray for the discount supermarket into birds that meet the “Better Chicken Commitment” (BCC), which calls for lower stocking densities and slower-growing breeds.
The range will include whole chicken, breast fillets and chicken drumsticks and thighs, and will start at £2.49/kg.
Whole birds will be £2.65/kg compared with £1.87/kg for the standard range, a 41% increase.
A report for the NFU estimated the cost of a chicken produced to the BCC at 18% more than a conventional Red Tractor bird.
Figures for an RSPCA Assured broiler were not included, but the standards are similar.
The supermarket, which is the UK’s second-largest poultry retailer by volume, will offer the corn-fed range of chicken in selected stores across three regions; the Midlands, North West and South West.
A spokesman for the firm said: “Aldi is committed to working with British suppliers, and by doing so, ensures that their everyday fresh meat range is 100% British, while their long-term partnerships have seen them ranked the best-performing supermarket for compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice for five consecutive years.”