Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have cause a minor shopping stampede on free range and organic chicken.

But far from pecked to submission, it appears that sales of battery reared chickens have also risen.

The Daily Express reports that Jamie’s Fowl Dinners and Hugh’s Chicken Run have led to a jump in sales of free range and organic chicken at Sainsbury’s of about 50 per cent.

But a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “Sales of organic chicken have gone up, but so have Basics, our value line.”

Welsh company S&J Organics said sales of organic chicken have risen 40-50 per cent in the past week.

“It just goes to show what a difference a television programme can make,” said company founder Steve Merritt.

But Waitrose said its chicken, none of which is battery reared, has only risen one per cent, which was in line with traditional January patterns of healthier eating.