Who said turkeys can’t fly? Our involvement with Banbury's Turkeys started in 2011; after nearly fifty years of growth, the market for slow grown traditional white and free-range bronze turkeys seemed to be contracting. Cornwall Food and Drink advised on brand, marketing and sales to reinvigorate the business and turn around the decline.
In 2011 we were approached by Cornish farming family, the Banburys of Trembleathe Farm, to help re-invigorate the market for their amazing Cornish turkeys. First reared in 1965, the turkey business had grown from seven birds that first year to over four thousand in 2010.
A vital source of winter income for this traditional mixed farm, situated at Rumford between Padstow, Wadebridge and St Columb, turkey sales had been declining for several years as cheaper supermarket birds eroded the market for the Banbury’s premium product.
A quick look at the Banbury’s business identified that although the product quality was absolutely superb and sales activity to existing stockists well managed, there was little brand awareness in the marketplace, neither among the public, nor among the butchers, farmshops and restaurants who could be wholesale customers. Anyone looking for a high quality turkey would only find Banbury’s if they happened upon a stockist and asked. First stop therefore, was the development of a brand identity which could be applied to marketing materials. A simple motif of a turkey’s fanned tail in a woodcut style, white out of a striking coral red (subliminally suggesting the turkey’s wattle), was designed by Channel. The year of establishment was displayed to add the credibility of longevity and the whole encompassed in a cookie cutter shaped logo to look like a stamp or seal of approval.
The design was used on a new three page informational website – page one giving brief details and history of the turkey business, page two focusing on the method of production, the flavour guarantee and how to cook, and page three including a straightforward stockist listing along with a google map of their locations. New point of sale flyers and posters were also designed, giving prominence to the ‘family run’ nature of the business and the importance of the long, slow rearing in developing a full flavour. This sales support for stockists is a crucial area that producers and manufacturers so often neglect, as is the use of PR, another area where Cornwall Food and Drink devised a strategy for Banbury’s.
The outcome of this activity was a reversal of the decline in sales of previous years, turnover rose by 10% in 2011 compared with 2010 and some other changes including more ‘farm gate’ sales led to an increase of 20% in gross margin.
In 2014 Banbury’s came back to Cornwall Food and Drink to help plan celebrations for the 50th year of turkey production but also to assist in the preparation of a grant funding application to install ‘dry-plucking’ equipment. This equipment will enable the preparation of an even higher quality of bird and increase the differentiation between Banbury’s turkeys and the supermarket offering.