Drop in 'turkey gobbling' affects sales in East Lancashire
TURKEY has been part of British Christmas since the 16th-century, but local producers say its supremacy on the festive dinner table is being challenged.
The rise in the price of various cuts of meat making them a treat and an increase in choice has led to a decline in the sales of turkeys.
Blackburn turkey farmer Allan Bretherton said he predicted lots of people would be eating beef and lamb on Christmas Day this year.
Mr Bretherton, of Shaws Farm in Stockclough Lane, Blackburn, said he had seen a decline in the sale of turkeys so far this year.
He said: “They have been slow to sell. Because the weather has been pretty mild for this time of year I think people don’t realise Christmas is so close.
“It just doesn’t feel like Christmas. I certainly don’t feel Christmassy and a lot of my friends say they don’t as well.
“We have bought in the usual 400 turkeys we always do and have only sold half of them so far.
“The tradition seems to have gone now as well. I reckon a lot of people will be eating different meats this Christmas.
“I have called up a few of our customers from last year and they say they are having beef for a change.
“I think meats like beef and lamb are expensive these days so people aren’t having them throughout the year as often as they would and are treating themselves at Christmas.”
Butcher Geoff Riley, who owns Riley’s Butchers in Crawshawbooth, said he had noticed changes in buying trends.
He said: “The most noticeable thing it people are going from buying a full turkey to just getting a couple of turkey breasts.
“The multi-bird roasts are quite popular now as well. There has been a slight rise in the number of people looking for the posher cuts, like ribs of beef.
“Venison is very popular and we sell a lot of that, and we get the same people buying goose every year as it can be a bit fatty for some.”
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