retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports on an old-world communications tool that seems to have continued relevance in a technologically advanced world - the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line.

“In contrast with food Web sites such as, which expects about 25 million visitors in November, (about 20 million) and (about 7 million), the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line remains old-school,” the Tribune writes. “Its experts field inquiries mostly over the phone. On Thanksgiving Day alone, 10,000 calls come in, roughly one-tenth the call volume Butterball has received each holiday season for the past nine years.

“It responds to about 5,000 e-mailed questions, and about 1.2 million visitors are expected on the company's Web site during November. But those numbers are dwarfed by other outlets.

“Still, Butterball Turkey executives believe the company has a strong niche and claim they are undaunted by the competition. In addition to selling turkey, they say, Butterball's core strength is providing live advice from calm experts about cooking, thawing or what side dishes to make.”
KC's View:
Thanksgiving is an old-fashioned holiday; it is unique (and my personal favorite) because it isn’t tied to any sort of commercialism. For people who are enjoying an old fashioned turkey dinner (which would not be my family), it is nice to have the old fashioned reassurance of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. And even if numbers are down, Butterball is smart to continue occupying this traditional niche.