Kelly Turkeys has entered the U.S. market in time for Thanksgiving, introducing its KellyBronze bird to Washington, D.C., consumers as a trial marketing exercise.
The KellyBronze product is being launched into a market where U.S. supermarkets sell turkeys as a loss leader at Thanksgiving, so the turkeys Kelly is producing in the U.S. are bound to look expensive, said Kelly's Paul Kelly. In addition, the black feather stubs in the bronze turkey may be an issue with U.S. consumers used to a "bleached-looking" white turkey.
“We are actually taking New York dressed turkey — as it’s known in the trade — back to the U.S., where the tradition started when birds were sent plucked but with guts intact from the Midwest to the East Coast," said Kelly. "It was the safest way to make the long journey. Due to cost of hand plucking and hanging, the practice gradually stopped. For many years now there has been no dry plucking in the U.S., so the skills needed are no longer in the country. I forgot just how hard it is to teach people to pluck!"