Bernard Matthews has agreed an unlikely tie-up with Marco Pierre White, signalling an attempted shift upmarket by the turkey processor.

The celebrity chef and self-styled Great White Shark is pairing up with Bernard Matthews to develop a range of new products from later this year.

White will also help to promote the bird as a year-round dinner option – claiming that turkeys are not just for Christmas.

“Ever since I was a young boy I’ve been an admirer of turkey and particularly Bernard Matthews – because he is without question one of the great farmers of the last five decades,” White said.

“We wish to show the great British public how perfect the great bird is for today’s modern lifestyles – as it is versatile, healthy and affordable.”

White’s name appears on the Glorious! soups range, while the former Hell’s Kitchen host has also fronted a campaign for Unilever’s Knorr stock pots and is currently promoting Walkers crisps.

Last month Bernard Matthews announced it would be axing 160 staff over the coming year due to switching frozen whole bird production from its Great Witchingham HQ to its base at Holton.

Read more
Sports celebs sell crisps at lunchtime (6 March 2010)
A man for all seasons: an interview with Bernard Matthews boss Jeff Halliwell (28 November 2009)
Turkey giant hails first step towards recovery (31 October 2009)