Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Whole-bird turkey sales decline

Christmas turkey sales were poor this year, prompting the national marketing agency to think about reducing production this year.

The industry has 19 million kilograms in frozen storage, up sharply from 14.7 million a year earlier.

“What we’ve seen is that consumption of whole birds has stayed relatively flat, it’s not even quite on par with population growth,” says Phil Boyd, executive director of Turkey Farmers of Canada.

“One of the contributing factors of these increased stocks is that the large retailers reduced the amount of featuring during the festive season by using turkey as a loss leader,” Bill Uruski told farmers attending the annual meeting of the Manitoba Turkey Producers in Winnipeg.

“While in the past this type of marketing did pull through a lot of birds, it’s difficult to understand how this type of marketing strategy benefits our industry in the long run,” he was quoted by Manitoba Cooperator.

Customers who are used to purchasing underpriced turkeys in the lead-up to holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter, may balk at buying turkey when the true price of production is reflected, he said.

The national agency nudged production higher last year and that was another factor leading to the increase in storage stocks.

Boyd said the directors of the national agency are scheduled to decide production for the upcoming fiscal year when they meet late this month.