Still a festive favourite - but turkey traditions are changing

A Shropshire butcher has reported a surge in meat sales in the run-up to Christmas – but revealed a fascinating insight into the county’s changing festive dining habits.

G.N. Badley & Sons in Trench, Telford, says its Christmas meat sales and orders are currently running nearly 5% up on the same time last year.

But the company said orders for whole turkeys had plunged by around 60% - with families instead choosing to buy a rolled turkey breast or crown instead.

Managing director Simon Badley said: “Our sales reflect the way in which Christmas day family dining habits are changing across Shropshire.

“It’s clear that fewer people are sitting down to carve the traditional full turkey at the table these days, preferring instead an easier, and less time-consuming option.

“As a result, our rolled turkey sales are soaring this year. Our beef sales are slightly up on last year too.”

Mr Badley, whose father Keith founded the business in 1976, said: “The run-up to Christmas is the most important trading time of the year, and it’s once again been a really busy few weeks for us.

“Despite the change in customer preferences, we’ve enjoyed another bumper Christmas ordering period.

“People seem to be increasingly turning to their local independent butcher, which is fabulous news.

“We are more aware than ever about the origins of the food we eat, and are proud to be once again supporting local suppliers, as well as stocking award-winning KellyBronze turkeys.”

Turkeys, chickens and geese at the G.N Badley & Sons store come from Shrewsbury, while beef and pork are sourced from various farms across Shropshire and Staffordshire.

Mr Badley added: “We also recognise another shift in modern-day lifestyle which sees many people eating Christmas dinner alone.

“It’s important that they can still buy the same quality meats in single-sized portions.”