Bernard Matthews fights fall in consumer confidence

Bernard Matthews will launch two campaigns in 2007 to push the brand forward after sales plummeted by 40% when avian flu broke out on one of its turkey units in Suffolk during February.

The company plans to spend £7m on a “refreshment plan” and has yet to confirm how much will be allocated for the “recovery plan”.

Matt Pullen, Bernard Matthews marketing director, said: “Our product range was due an overhaul and the ‘brand refresh’ programme represents a huge and very worthwhile investment and commitment for the business.”

The “refreshment plan”, which has been under development for the last nine months, will introduce a range of new recipes and clearer nutritional labelling. 

In March, three new products were launched – golden drummers and dinosaurs (100% breast meat), wafer thin turkey breast (100% breast meat), wafer thin turkey ham honey roast.

And all Deli, Meal Centre and Traditional categories now feature both Food Standard Agency’s traffic light labels and the Food and Drink Federation’s GDA (Guideline Daily Amounts) labels.

Mr Pullen explained: “Our reasoning for adopting both labelling options is that GDAs on their own may not be easy for some consumers to understand, which is why we are over-laying them with colour-coding.”

The details of the “recovery plan” have yet to be confirmed by Bernard Matthews but it will include advertising, a PR campaign and loyalty schemes.