UK consumers in a flap with turkeys

Consumers have a worrying lack of knowledge of turkeys, the results of a National Farmers’ Union (NFU) survey has found prior to Christmas.

One in five people say that turkeys can fly while one in ten believes the bird originates from Turkey.

The NFU-commissioned poll quizzed 3,000 people about their festive eating habits, how they choose a Christmas bird and how much they know about turkeys in general.

The results revealed that 20% of people believe turkeys can fly with a further 14% not knowing if this is true or not – 66% cent said they cannot. 10% of people think turkeys originate from Turkey while nearly half have no idea where they come from. Only 11% know that a male turkey is called a stag.

Mike Bailey, vice-chairman of the NFU poultry board representing turkeys, said: “I am pleased to add that 67% of British public will tuck into turkey as their main meal on Christmas Day, with 58% saying they will buy fresh.”

The survey coincides with the re-launch of website, where producers can register their businesses and consumers can find their nearest turkey supplier by using just their postcode. More than 300 producers have already signed up, the NFU has said.

The survey also found that people in the North East are least likely to eat turkey this Christmas as their main meal, with those in the North West most likely. Londoners are most likely to eat a fresh turkey on the day while people in the West Midlands are more keen on frozen. It also found that 39% of people only eat turkey at Christmas.

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