Consumers flock for 'heritage' Thanksgiving turkeys
A free-range turkey farmer in the US says that
consumers are lining up to buy a special type of free-range turkey this
Thanksgiving - the 'heritage' turkey.
Consumers are prepared to pay for the privilege, with 'heritage turkeys'
costing US$5 per pound compared to US$3.50 per pound for the regular free-range
David Smith, owner of Springfield
in Maryland, says the heritage birds "are more like the wild turkeys.
They are growing in popularity. They are smaller and have less white meat, but
the flavor is much more intense."
The heritage turkeys now make up half the total numberbirds on his farm,
with total sales of 650 free-range turkeys expected before the Thanksgiving
Fresh, free-range turkeys are reportedly one of the fastest growing niches
in the gobbler market.
Maryland farmers grew 800,000 turkeys last year, nearly double the 440,000
raised in 2000, but only a tiny fraction of total US production of 256.3 million
turkeys last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture
Sherrie Rosenblatt, a spokeswoman for the National Turkey Federation
said that Thanksgiving and Christmas are the two biggest holidays for turkey
sales, "but people eat turkey all year long. It's not just for Thanksgiving
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