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Cdn. turkey ready for grilling season

Cdn. turkey ready for grilling season

The Griller’s Bird is a new marketing campaign targeting the summer season 

By Jackie Clark
Staff Writer 

Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) are promoting a barbecue-focused campaign as part of their broader Think Turkey marketing messages during the summer of 2021. The Griller’s Bird will encourage consumers to barbecue turkey. 

“Canadians in general have spent more time indoors than ever before over the past year, so we’re anticipating this being one of the biggest grill seasons ever,” Janice Height, the director of national marketing campaigns and brand partnerships for TFC, told 

“People are putting their disposable income into their backyards,” she explained. “Turkey is kind of underrepresented on the barbecue in general, so the goal of this campaign is to change that mindset.” 

Communications will showcase different cuts and recipes for grilling, smoking and deep-frying, she added. 

Canadian professional golfer Graham DeLaet (pictured above) is one of the faces of the campaign, along with BBQ Quebec grill master Max Lavoie and more chefs and food influencers.

Turkey is “the perfect lean protein for the barbecue and it hasn’t always been thought of as a barbecue staple so we’re hoping to change that,” Height said. “It’s a new season for us.”

Grilled turkey breasts

Typically, turkey is associated with fall, winter and spring holidays. 

36 per cent of whole turkeys sold in retail in 2020 were sold in the five weeks leading up to thanksgiving, and 41 per cent of all whole turkeys sold were in the six weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year, Height explained. 

“Because of the pandemic and just because we’re trending that way given family size, is sales of turkey roasts at retail are following a similar pattern to the whole bird, peaking at Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving,” she added. Consumers were also looking for smaller birds. 

Other cuts and deli items are in more consistent demand. 

At the beginning of the pandemic “the demand from food service for turkey breast meat fell off pretty dramatically,” Height said. However, that demand is beginning to recover, and retail sales are strong. 

From March 2020 to March 2021 “turkey sales at retail were up 7 per cent over a year earlier,” she explained. 

The Griller’s Bird campaign hopes to get consumers “thinking about turkey differently,” she added. 

Think Turkey photo

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