In 2005, Jamie Oliver fought a successful campaign to have Turkey Twizzlers taken off school dinner menus. But, 15 years later, a new healthier version has sold out across the country.
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s successful campaign to have Turkey Twizzlers removed from school dinner menus back in 2005 resulted in them being discontinued.
But fast forward 15 years and Turkey Twizzlers have made a successful return – in fact, if anything, their comeback has been too successful.
Bernard Matthews relaunched the controversial product last week in two new flavours – original tangy tomato and chilli cheese – and with double the amount of turkey than was contained in their original incarnation.
However, many fans were left disappointed as stores quickly sold out of the products.
Many took to social media site Twitter to air their disappointment at the sell-out and Bernard Matthews said they were working hard to replenish stocks as quickly as possible.
It seems, though, that it will be early September now before stores will be restocked.
One said: “Been to 5 @IcelandFoods stores today to try to get some turkey twizzlers for a friend and completely out of stock… seriously… when will this be resolved?”
Another fan added: “Went to two @IcelandFoods stores today to get me some turkey twizzlers both had none. Today is a bad day.”
Iceland replied: “Hi Gavin, I am sorry to hear this, we are working hard to make sure that all our customers get their Twizzler fix ASAP. Thanks for your patience.”
Hi Gavin, I am sorry to hear this 😣 we are working hard to make sure that all our customers get their Twizzler fix ASAP. Thanks for your patience, Taryn
— Iceland Foods ❄️ (@IcelandFoods) August 24, 2020
Bernard Matthews tried to put twizzlers addicts’ minds at ease with their statement: “Turkey Twizzler fiends, we’ve seen unprecedented demand for the next generation Turkey Twizzler.
“They are available in Iceland stores, but some have limited availability or have sold out. All Iceland stores will be fully stocked at the latest 7th September and the Turkey Twizzler will be available in other major supermarkets from September 10th.
“It’s been 15 years and we hope another few days doesn’t send you into Twizzler meltdown.”
Celebrity chef’s intervention
In 2005, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver made it his mission to improve the country’s school meals in his series Jamie’s School Dinners.
And one of his key pledges was to have processed foods from menus, with particular ire directed at the Turkey Twizzlers which he said they were bad for children’s health during the programmes aired on Channel 4.
A huge number of school meals contractors dropped them and, as a result, Turkey Twizzlers were discontinued.
For the 2020 rebirth of the Turkey Twizzler, Bernard Matthews has made some changes to the recipe.
Marketing director David Leigh said: “We have been discussing the return of the Twizzler for some time.
“Obviously we’d like the product to go into schools, but for the minute, we’ve focused on going into what I guess you’d call mass market retail.”
In 2005, the Twizzler was only 34% meat and was 137kcal, while the 2020 version is now 70% meat and is the kcals have been reduce by 50 to 87.
“If you look at our product now and let’s say you compared two pork sausages to two Twizzlers, there’s 83% more saturated fat in two average pork sausages compared to two Twizzlers,” added Mr Leigh.
“So we have spent a lot of time making sure that we are delivering a significantly healthier product than it was before. It is very much a different product.”
And just in case you wanted more from your Turkey Twizzler, it’s going on tour!
A spokesperson for Bernard Matthews added: “To celebrate the comeback of the century, a giant Turkey Twizzler arrived in its hometown of Norwich at Great Witchingham Hall, where its legacy began. The statue will be doing a tour of the UK – check out our Instagram to see the latest!”
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Do you know someone who’d love to win a case of Turkey Twizzlers? Whether they are a self-proclaimed Twizzler fan, or someone who simply deserves a treat; nominate who you think it should be by 9am on Monday to be in with a chance of winning this tasty prize. (Winner must be a resident in the UK and over the age of 18).