Kelly Turkeys ready to take on US Thanksgiving market

Poultry producer Kelly Turkeys is confident of cracking the United States Thanksgiving market following a recent sales mission by managing director Paul Kelly. 

The Essex-based business’ signature product KellyBronze turkey is now available in New York and neighbouring states.

“I had a great trip and was well received,” said Kelly. “We are supplying Dickson’s Farmstand in Chelsea market and Fleishers Craft Butchery, which has five outlets in New York and surrounding areas.”

The business started rolling out into the US market last year, with some success.

“Fleishers had a sample last Thanksgiving and loved our turkey and presentation. They were impressed that the KellyBronze was so dramatically different to what they are used to selling – and even with the huge price differential they are going to stock it this year. And the butcher we have in Washington last year sold 30% of his turkeys as KellyBronze.”

Kelly felt the business would make more progress this year. “We can hit the ground running in the US and can afford the investment needed. I fully appreciate we’ve a long way to go and I’m well aware that the USA has been a graveyard for many UK companies. But I am quietly very confident.”

According to Kelly, the main challenge in the US is educating the consumer. “The irony is that although UK traditional turkeys are ‘New York dressed’ – hung for two or three weeks before processing for a more mature flavour – hardly anyone in the US understands that term,” he said. “The dry plucking and hanging process is totally alien to them, which is great.”

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