Where's the best-value Christmas turkey?

Emma Woollacott
Christmas Turkey dinner served in front of a Christmas tree
Christmas Turkey dinner served in front of a Christmas tree

The war of the turkeys has begun, with supermarkets slashing the price of their festive birds just days before Christmas.

Budget supermarket Lidl has launched a high-quality bronze turkey - free-range, hand plucked and game-hung - for just £8.99 a kilo.

In a recent survey by Good Housekeeping, Lidl was named as the second-cheapest supermarket when buying Christmas dinner, pipped to the post only by rival budget chain Aldi.

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Lidl describes its new premium turkey as its most luxurious bird ever.

"Increasing customer appetite for our premium products demonstrates that there is a demand for this outstanding quality turkey at Christmas," the company's head of fresh meat buying, Richard Bourns, tells the Evening Standard.

Asda has a similar offering for even less.

Luxury turkeys cost a lot more to produce than standard ranges. Free-range rearing requires vastly more space than keeping the birds in tiny cages, and they are generally given better-quality food too.

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Dry-plucking by hand makes for a crispier skin but is labour-intensive and hanging the birds - which improves texture and flavour - increases storage costs.

According to the Mintec Christmas Dinner Index, turkey prices are down 2% on last year, partly because avian flu bumped costs up in 2015. Apparently, 1.3 million birds were slaughtered in September, 10% higher than last year.

However, there's still a huge variation in the cost of your bird: we take a look at some of this year's prices.

Premium ranges
Aldi: Free range bronze turkey - £8.99 per kilo
Asda: Free range bronze turkey - £6.98 per kilo
Co-op: Bronze turkey - £8.19 per kilo
Lidl: Free range bronze turkey - £5.69 per kilo
Morrisons: Best whole turkey - £7.00 per kilo
M&S: Free range white turkey - £8.50 per kilo
Sainsbury's: Bronze turkey - £7.50 per kilo
Tesco: Organic British free-range turkey - £9.00 per kilo
Waitrose: Free range turkey - £8.49 per kilo

Is your Christmas food a rip-off?

Standard ranges
Aldi: £5.69 per kilo
Asda: £4.53 per kilo
Co-op: £6.00 per kilo
Lidl: £3.89 per kilo
Morrisons: £3.94 per kilo
M&S: £5.00 per kilo
Sainsbury's: £5.00 per kilo
Tesco: £4.50 per kilo
Waitrose: £8.49 per kilo