The six-strong Marco's range comprises two ready-to-cook turkey joints with stuffing (rsp: £6 each) and four turkey steaks with a crust (rsp: £3.49 for a 335g pack with two steaks), each of which comes with a sachet of gravy or sauce. The products are unprocessed, made with 100% British turkey and will sit in the ready-to-cook section of the chilled aisle.
They are the first co-branded products to come to market since White became a Bernard Matthews Farms (BMF) brand ambassador in March 2010, and will go into Sainsbury's stores on 19 January, with all other multiples and convenience stores to follow in March. The launch will be supported by a £10m advertising and marketing budget, including a national TV campaign, which kicks off in mid-March.
Driving consumption of fresh turkey was a key priority for BMF, which hoped to double per-capita consumption of turkey in the UK from 2.5kg in 2009 [Defra] to 5kg by 2020, said marketing controller Rajinder Sahota. To achieve this, British consumers needed to be encouraged to think of turkey as a versatile, easy-to-cook and tasty meat.
"Consumers are increasingly looking for exciting and inspirational dishes that can be delivered with minimal preparation and fuss," said Sahota. "We believe our new range does exactly that."
The Marco's range, which taps into the ready-to-cook trend, would also help establish the BMF brand in a "slightly older, slightly more upmarket" demographic bracket than its frozen convenience products, Sahota added.
According to Kantar, the UK ready-to-cook market was worth £277m in the 52 weeks to 31 October 2010, with poultry accounting for £116m or 42% of the category's value. Chicken products were worth £83m and turkey products £30m.