Bernard Matthews Farms has ditched its Marco Pierre White-branded line of turkey steaks and joints just six months after launch, ­after the chef’s range failed to generate enough sales.

At the same time, the company is getting rid of its ‘change your meat, not your menu’ campaign in favour of Lean On Turkey, its new campaign slogan and website.

BMF category management controller Daniel McGuigan said the company had pulled the White line at the end of June, after finding it wasn’t generating enough sales to be profitable. “We were using very high-quality ingredients, so we couldn’t realise the value,” McGuigan said. Prior to being delisted in June, White’s range had been on sale at the big four.

McGuigan added that the range, which consisted of ready-to-cook products, was probably “two years ahead of its time”, and that turkey as a category was not mature enough to support high-end convenience products at this stage. “We also found that Marco appealed specifically to scratch cookers, yet we were offering a compound product,” he said.

Despite the failure of the co-branded range, BMF continues to work with White, who acts as an ambassador to the company. He will also be central to Lean On Turkey, the new campaign launched by Bernard Matthews this month, offering recipe ideas and cooking tips on the Lean On Turkey website.

Marketing communications manager Simon Tomlinson said BMF had decided to switch away from the previous ‘change your meat, not your menu’ campaign to target consumers with a “broader” message. “The change campaign was very successful, but we found it didn’t give us enough scope.”

Although the ‘change your meat’ ­website had been shut down, some of its contents and messages had been ­incorporated into the Lean On Turkey campaign, Tomlinson added. BMF plans to run sampling campaigns as well as a digital campaign and below-the-line activities around Lean On Turkey in 2012.

Read more
Meat & Fish Supplement 2011: Marco on board for a turkey offensive (21 May 2011)
Ad of the Week: Martin meets Marco in tale of Matthews’ forgotten meat (2 April 2011)
Mercurial Marco goes mainstream (12 March 2011)