Let's talk turkey

Each year, on a single day in December, over a million turkeys are prepared and cooked on the island of Ireland.

From both a food safety and culinary perspective, it’s all a bit tricky. The bird tends to be big, the crowd large, and there are lots of extra dishes to get to the table, piping hot. For most cooks, it’s a once-a-year meal, so unfamiliarity adds another layer of difficulty.

And this is where safefood comes in. For the month of December, a key goal for us is to help cooks get ready for Christmas, and in particular, to support them on Christmas Day.

chefbotFrom a customer service perspective, that’s also tricky because, just like everyone else, our staff are home with their families on Christmas day.

Back in the day, we always had one staff member on call at home on our helpline for the entire holiday but as people moved to digital, these calls have slowed down. Now, we focus on our website and support people via digital and social media.

By Christmas Day 2016, traffic to our website on Christmas day had increased to 35,000 visitors. This was the busiest day in the history of the site at that stage. Most of them used our Turkey cooking time calculator.

So in 2017, we decided to put even more focus on supporting cooks at Christmas. We made a radio ad to raise awareness of the Turkey cooking time calculator, we reviewed and revamped our web assets, we advertised via social media and we built Chefbot – our Facebook messenger bot who answered your questions on Christmas cooking.

On 27 December Fiona Looney wrote in her article in the Irish Daily Mail Heroes, zeroes and the credit to the mammy

These are the doldrum days – that odd period of inertia between Christmas and New Year when you eye the turkey carcass balefully and wonder if safefood will bang your door down if you chance one more sandwich…”

That made us laugh and made us wonder if we had succeeded in entering the public conscience. Our analysis shows that this may well be the case.

Between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 80,000 people visited our website. Over the course of December 165,000 people in total visited the Christmas hub. The most popular pages were; the Turkey cooking time calculator; the section on Preparing and stuffing your turkey and the Turkey infographic.

About 40% of traffic came from online searches, 40% from social media and 20% directly. Much of the traffic that was direct or came via search, is likely to have been driven by the radio ad. Our social media campaign posts were seen over 3 million times.

Chefbot answered almost 400 questions and because he’s a bot, he doesn’t mind working Christmas Day so will be back later this year.

And if you visited our site over Christmas, thanks for making it a cracker…

Posted: 25/01/2018 15:43:07 by Aileen McGloin
Filed under: Christmas


About Me

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Aileen McGloin
Hi, my name is Aileen McGloin and I am the Director of Marketing and Communications, at safefood. I trained as a public health nutritionist originally and am passionate about changing food-related behaviour. I have a particular interest in using digital technology to promote health. At home, I love books, am in a book club and married to a crime writer. I’m a fiend for all things fashion and like walking, swimming and TV that is so bad it’s good. I live in Co. Wicklow with my husband and 10 year old daughter.