Whole turkeys ‘holding their own’ at Christmas, despite rise in crowns and breasts sales, says poultry boss

Kelly Turkeys poults.

Kelly Turkeys poults. - Credit: Archant

Whole birds are holding their own at Christmas after a big swing towards crowns and breast joints, an Essex poultry boss says.

A whole KellyBronze turkey.

A whole KellyBronze turkey. - Credit: Archant

Paul Kelly, managing director fo FarmGate Hatcheries at Danbury, said its Kelly Turkeys farmgate sales showed 72% of were buying whole birds, against 28% crowns and breasts.

“Our retail sales have stayed at these percentages for the past four years – but in the major retailers it has been the opposite. I am not sure why, but my gut feeling is they do not promote the whole bird as the obvious choice, and it gets lost in the plethora of crowns and joints.”

But the crowns and joints market was very profitable and should not be ignored, he said.

After a price reduction in 2015 and no increase in 2016, poult prices from FarmGate Hatcheries are rising by 3 to 5% to take account of a 10% rise in feed costs, wage rises for seasonal workers and general inflation, he said.