Poultry industry must adapt

“If you don't like change, and you're not looking for a challenge, then don't look to the poultry industry,” said Jim Perdue, chairman of Perdue Farms.

Perdue made those remarks during the opening session of the US Poultry & Egg Association's College Student Career Program. The program is held annually in conjunction with the International Poultry Expo inAtlanta.
Perdue explained how the company's business model changed five times during a 50-year time span. He said, “During that time, we saw the beginning of the broiler industry, the introduction of the integrated poultry company, and the transition of chicken from agricultural commodity to branded product. Compare that to any industry, even the computer industry, and that's a dizzying rate of change."

The industry's future growth will revolve around putting chicken into innovative products. This reflects changing consumer preferences. Years ago, the average consumer took 45 minutes to prepare a meal using quality ingredients. Today, the average time needed to prepare a meal is less than 15 minutes. Consumers want quality meal solutions.

To be successful, the poultry industry must put its products where consumers are and make them available when they want them. “We need to think of ourselves as food companies marketing innovative, consumer- and customer-driven solutions, and not just as poultry companies producing chicken and turkey,” he noted.

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Editor WorldPoultry

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