Survey shows US chicken consumption remains strong

USA - US chicken consumption remains high, and consumers are hungry for more information about the chicken they purchase, according to new research presented today at the 2018 Chicken Marketing Summit in Orlando, Florida
calendar icon 27 July 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

In the two weeks leading up to the survey, 86 percent of consumers ate a chicken meal or snack purchased from a supermarket and 68 percent ate a chicken meal or snack from a food service establishment. Both supermarket and food service establishment consumption numbers increased, 2.3 percent and 1.5 percent respectively, and are at parity with those seen in 2016.

The survey was commissioned by the National Chicken Council (NCC) and conducted online by ORC International June 4-7, 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.

Consumers will buy more chicken if given useful information

The majority of consumers (89 percent) want more information about the chicken they buy and eat, and 57 percent would look for that information on the product package. “They want information about how freshness is communicated, how best to cook chicken and what the label claims mean,” said Tom Super, NCC senior vice president of communications. And if provided with more information on these and other aspects, 62 percent would purchase more chicken.

“Consumers are asking for more transparency and information that will make them confident in their chicken purchases,” said Super. “That is exactly the impetus for creating NCC’s Chicken Check In campaign, which invites consumers to see how chickens are raised and produced in the US We’re proud to give a close look at our birds, their lives and how they get to our dinner tables.”

Food safety concerns continue to influence chicken purchase decisions and, when prompted, consumers are significantly more concerned this year about chicken purchase considerations than in any other year. The majority would be more likely to purchase chicken if their concerns were addressed.

Consumers see chicken as versatile and convenient

Consumers purchase chicken over other proteins because it is versatile and convenient. Furthermore, they anticipate increasing their overall chicken consumption in the next 12 months. Twenty-nine percent of consumers anticipate eating more chicken from the supermarket and 19 percent anticipate eating more from a food service establishment. Americans will eat a record 93 pounds of chicken per person in 2018, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

However, fewer survey respondents are citing health benefits as the reason they choose chicken over other types of meat. While more than half of chicken consumers said they never choose plant-based proteins over chicken, those that do see plant-based proteins as a healthy alternative (and nearly two out of three) say their choice is at least sometimes influenced by a dining partner’s choice of a vegetarian meal.

The full report is available here

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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