KELLY TURKEYS has said it has had to pass on a 16% price rise for its Christmas turkeys because of higher input costs such as feed this year.

In his letter, Mr Kelly says the price increases in other meats – chicken, beef and lamb up by 16%-23% – are “like we have never seen before”.

See also: Turkey placings dipped in July

But, in a letter to farmer customers, MD Paul Kelly struck an optimistic note and said staying the course and keeping quality high would be a priority for the firm this season.

He said that producers should stick with artisanal processing, presenting birds in quality packaging and hanging mature turkeys for the best flavour possible. 

Mr Kelly added KellyBronze bird sales would be backed by an extensive advertising campaign that included social media, TV and celebrity farmer endorsements.

Marketing exposure

“No other turkey gets the marketing exposure that KellyBronze gets,” Mr Kelly said. “We take comfort in the fact that no one else in the country grows Christmas turkeys as we do, and no one else feeds them the same.”

Looking at the broader market, he said he felt higher prices for turkeys would harm Christmas sales, as luxury food for Christmas Day has been insulated from recessionary pressures in the past.

In addition, Mr Kelly believes more families will be eating Christmas dinner at home with the option of dining out more expensive than ever and fewer likely to be travelling abroad for a festive break, which could all add to the demand for premium turkeys.

“We are unique and need to remain the best turkey on the market. This is a price increase like we have never seen before, but we are not alone. 

“From January this year, other proteins have moved up by similar percentages as you know.”

Mr Kelly finishes with the following points:

  • Luxury food for the Christmas day food shop has in the past been insulated from recessionary pressures.
  • Eating out for Christmas lunch is going to be more expensive than ever this year. Could this lead to Christmas dinner at home being a more popular choice?
  • Travelling abroad for Christmas is also a discretionary spend that may not happen this year in the normal numbers. This may add to the number of shoppers for a premium turkey staying at home.