Turkey producers are celebrating a breakthrough in their campaign to convince UK consumers that turkey is not just for Christmas.
The news came after UK per capita consumption of the meat soared by 20% in the first quarter of the year.
British consumers consumed 0.74 kg per head between January and March – up from 0.62 kg during the first three months of 2011 – based on Defra production figures, import and export data from HMRC as well as population data from the ONS.
Turkey breast steaks and mince were high performing products, with steak volumes rising 24.7% year-on-year to 295 tonnes and mince up 22.4%, to 265 tonnes.
The cuts together account for almost 50% of the turkey market.
Bernard Matthews MD Rob Mears said:
“Consumption has been boosted partly because retailers have been giving turkey products more shelf space and have started to include them in their three for £10 meat promotions.
“Turkey has been becoming more visible at point of purchase.
“Marketing pushes such as Bernard Matthews’ tie-up with Marco Pierre White for the Lean On Turkey campaign has also played an important part, as they have encouraged shoppers to “reappraise” turkey.
“A 20% increase is very substantial, especially during the first quarter of the year, when British consumers have often turned away from turkey.
“It’s a sign consumers are looking at turkey differently.”
Turkey is now getting greater exposure in the consumer press, in retailer recipes and through chefs.