National Chicken Council: food transparency and immersive virtual reality

USA - With nearly 90 percent of consumers interested in additional information about chicken, new 360° virtual tours of chicken production in the US satisfies consumers’ hunger for more
calendar icon 26 July 2018
clock icon 4 minute read

As per capita chicken consumption breaks a new record in 2018 and consumers express a growing interest in where their food comes from, the National Chicken Council (NCC) - the United States’ oldest and largest national association representing the US broiler chicken industry (chickens raised for meat) - has developed a series of 360° virtual reality videos showing the various stages of chicken’s life during modern, commercial production. The new experience is part of NCC’s Chicken Check In program, which serves as a resource for consumers to get the information they seek about how most meat chickens are raised.

The virtual reality experience is launched on the heels of a new national survey revealing that nearly 90 percent* of consumers are interested in deeper information about the chicken they buy and eat. Additionally, nearly 40 percent* of consumers indicate information about “how chickens are cared for” as one of the top topics they care about most.

“We know that people want more information about chicken production and that most have not visited a chicken farm, so we are bringing the farm to them,” said Tom Super, spokesperson for the National Chicken Council. “Through our virtual reality tours, viewers are able to see the way most chickens are hatched, raised and processed in the US - it’s a fully immersive experience.”

The virtual reality videos of the chickens’ life stages, can be viewed on a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop, with or without a headset. Viewers are able to watch the video in a traditional manner from a two-dimensional perspective, but unlike passively watching, the video can now rotate to see up, down, front, back, and side- to-side from the original starting point.

Bringing the Chicken Farm to Consumers

In the virtual reality series, consumers can experience the following three 360° video segments:

  • The hatchery: Chickens begin their life in hatcheries, where fertilized eggs (not table eggs) are incubated and hatched into chickens that are raised for meat
  • The broiler chicken farm: Once the chicks are hatched, they are transported that day to local farms where chickens are raised by farmers with oversight from licensed veterinarians
  • The processing plant: When chickens reach the proper market weight, they leave the farm and are transported to the processing plant where they are humanely slaughtered and processed under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The chicken ultimately goes to grocery stores, restaurants, cafeterias, etc

“The virtual reality experience is a natural extension of the Chicken Check In program, which invites consumers to see how chickens are raised and produced in the US,” said Super. “We’re proud to give a close look at our birds, their lives and how they get to our tables. We plan to bring the experience to consumers not only online, but to trade shows, schools, and various other events.”

*Survey Methodology

The survey was commissioned by the National Chicken Council and conducted online by ORC International June 4-7, 2018, among 1,004 adults. Funding was provided by Elanco, Truow Nutrition, WATT Global Media and IRI. Click here to access a full copy of the report

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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