Butterball Still Talking Turkey After Sale To Carolina

Confused, stressed and downright helpless chefs have turned to Butterball's Turkey Talk-Line for help in preparing their frozen bird for the past 20 years. Although ConAgra Foods sold the iconic brand and its turkey business to privately held Carolina Turkeys in October for $325 million, callers will hear the same 50 Midwestern voices that for years have answered the phones in Naperville, Ill.

Butterball's brand name commands a higher price in stores, and the company is now called Butterball LLC. After selling only to restaurants and grocery stores for decades, it no longer has to worry about developing a brand name as it expands its consumer business.

ConAgra tended to focus on the whole bird, which only accounts for about one-fourth of turkey meat sales. The other Butterball products--including turkey burgers, filets, tenderloins, turkey sausage, turkey bacon and turkey strips--often got lost among ConAgra's massive product line, according to Butterball president and CEO Keith Shoemaker.

Read the whole story at Detroit Free Press/AP »