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News 470 views update:Nov 16, 2009

UK: Increasing sales of turkey meat

Promoting the health benefits of eating turkey could be one way of reversing the decline in turkey consumption, reports Farmers Weekly Interactive.

From 1996-2008, UK turkey consumption has halved to 2.8 kg per head per day, reports the MD of Bernard Matthews Farms, Matt Pullen, at the recent Egg and Poultry Industry Conference, which was held 8-9 November in Warwickshire, England.

This compares with France at 6.6 kg and Germany at 5.6 kg. Additionally, 5% of households stopped buying any turkey between 2007 and 2009.

Pullen suggested that the big challenge of the turkey industry is that many consumers don't buy turkey outside Christmas.

"They see it as a Christmas-only meat, difficult to cook and they are not confident of the outcome. Also, it is poorly merchandised with little choice of meat cuts in stores."

Increase consumption

Pullen pointed out that the US industry has managed to double consumption in the past 15 years and it is now seen as the white meat of choice.

Data shows that 30% of US households eat turkey each week and 90% eat chicken, showing that you can have a healthy consumption of both meats.

While whole birds account for the largest proportion of the market, turkey mince now accounts for 10% of the market.

Source: Farmers Weekly Interactive

Natalie Berkhout

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