US Chicken Consumption Continues to Rise

Lizzy Schultz

ncc New research presented at the 2016 Chicken Marketing Summit shows that US chicken consumption remains high, with 2016 levels surpassing those from the previous two years. The survey was commissioned by the National Chicken Council and conducted online by ORC International June 6 – 9, 2016, among 1,017 adults.

Consumers were asked about chicken consumption in the two weeks leading up to the survey, and the results showed that 87% of consumers ate a chicken meal or snack purchased from a supermarket, while 72% ate a chicken meal or snack from a food service establishment. Consumption from both purchase channels was up from a year ago.

The survey also found that consumers’ taste for chicken is showing no sign of slowing anytime soon. 21% of consumers stated that they anticipate eating more chicken from the supermarket and 14% anticipate eating more from a food service establishment over the next 12 months, and estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that Americans will eat a record 92 pounds of chicken per person this year.

“People are buying more chicken than last year and plan to buy more next year,” said Tom Super, Senior Vice President of Communications at the National Chicken Council. “Chicken tops the list of protein being consumed most often per week. And while retail sales continue to be strong, the survey shows that more people are eating chicken away from home, which is good news for chicken producers, food service establishments and the overall economy.”

The demographic of consumers with the highest consumption levels skews younger, more affluent and ethnically diverse with larger households, and consumption is relatively equal between males and females.

When asked to rank various factors on satisfaction in order of importance, freshness, taste and price were the top priorities. Consumers across the board are satisfied with freshness and taste, but price satisfaction differed by channel. Food service establishments experienced moderate satisfaction levels, while satisfaction with supermarkets ranked lower.

Consumers also reported that they preferred to get their information on food safety and nutrition from conventional sources such as the government, grocery stores, farmer/growers, butchers and brands as opposed to blogs and celebrities, and when asked which claims would affect their likelihood to purchase their favorite chicken product, the use of antibiotics in production was a major factor of consideration. Also of interest was understanding where chicken comes from, with products labeled as locally raised or indicating country of origin on the label more likely to pique interest.

The full report may be accessed here

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