Posted on May 28, 2020 by Sustainable Food News

Whole Foods’ favored turkey brand acquires rival

Diestel to retain Willie Bird brand name

Diestel Family Ranch, a producer of organic and natural turkey products, said it has acquired turkey products purveyor Willie Bird Turkeys Inc.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sonora, Calif.-based Willie Bird, founded in 1963, and located down the road from Diestel, sells free-range turkeys, chicken and duck products under its own label to hotels, restaurants, delis, and airlines, as well as through Williams Sonoma and independent natural and organic grocers in California.

Diestel said it will retain the Willie Bird brand name for products produced by the operation.

“As longtime family friends, we look forward to keeping Willie’s legacy and independent spirit alive by offering delicious holiday and year-round products, just as Willie did.” said Heidi Diestel.

Diestel, founded in 1949, is credited with being the first to market with a non-GMO, Global Animal Partnership Step 5+ animal welfare rated turkey and a “Cook-in-Bag” turkey breast roasts.

‘Diestel, which was certified organic by Oregon Tilth in 2002, was named Whole Foods Market’s National Culinary Supplier of the Year for 2019. Diestel has supplied Whole Foods for more than 25 years.

Diestel said it is now taking orders for fresh and whole birds for the upcoming Thanksgiving season. In the next few months, the full Willie Bird lineup will include turkey bacon, smoked deli meats, and smoked duck breast, among other products.

VIDEO: Watch more about Willie Bird Turkeys

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