Kelly turkeys looking to tap into US market

Paul Kelly of Kelly Turkeys, who set a new world record for plucking three turkeys in 11 minutes 30 seconds last month, is planning to launch the family’s Kelly Bronze turkey later this year in the USA.

His sights are set on the Thanksgiving and Christmas markets in California, New York and New England with producers supplied from local hatcheries. The firm’s managing director told the East Midlands Poultry Discussion Group in late 2008 that the move was a great chance to capture a slice of the most fantastic, 200m birds a year turkey market on the planet.

“Think of the prospect. They have two national turkey dates – Thanksgiving in November and Christmas four weeks later. If we can capture just 1% of that market it would be awesome.

“We have explained our plans for Kelly Bronze free-range traditional farm fresh turkey to the people that matter and they are very interested. We have also reminded them that they pioneered New York dressed poultry at the beginning of the 20th century so there’s nothing new in what we do with great success in the UK. We have developed traditional farm fresh and now we are taking it back to where it started.”

He is encouraged by the reaction of hatcheries to his plans and is confident that once deals are signed early in the New Year that hatching eggs will be flown in to start the process.

The USA was one of the seven countries included in his Nuffield farming scholarship tour last year to discover the best way to get a premium from the food service sector. He covered a range of food producers, food service suppliers, the auto trade and the fashion industry, vineyards and wine merchants, Michelin star restaurants.

They were all passionate about their business, researched and understood consumer perceptions and tailored their products accordingly. They made sure they could back up claims made for their products and kept close to customers and the media.