Chicken consumption in the United States remains high in 2015 in the two primary purchase channels, supermarket and food service establishments, according to new research presented at the 2015 Chicken Marketing Seminar.
Eighty-five percent of consumers ate a chicken meal or snack purchased from a supermarket and 67% ate a chicken meal or snack from a food service establishment in the two weeks leading up to the survey. These numbers are at parity with those seen in 2014.
"Chicken is America's favourite protein"
"Chicken remains America's favourite protein and consumers' affinity for it shows no signs of waning," said National Chicken Council senior vice president of communications Tom Super. "This latest data confirms that, but it also presents some opportunities and challenges in the year ahead."
In the next 12 months, 23% of consumers anticipate eating more chicken from the supermarket and 14% anticipate eating more from a food service establishment.
Consumers with the highest consumption levels tend to skew younger and more ethnically diverse, with larger households. Noteworthy also is that consumer purchase is highest in the Northeast, Midwest and South.
Factors influencing chicken purchases
As part of the survey, consumers were asked to consider their most recent chicken purchase and rank various factors in order of importance. Basic, functional benefits including freshness, price and taste were ranked highest as influencers in consumers' purchase decision making.
Consumers were also prompted to see if various claims would increase, decrease, or have no effect on their likelihood to purchase their favourite chicken products. Though all tested claims pique purchase interest, consumers said they are most interested in knowing if the product was locally raised.
Concerns about freshness
While three in ten (29%) consumers have no concerns about purchasing chicken, other consumers are most likely to be concerned about product freshness and health/safety. Concerns regarding product freshness and health/safety are top of mind for approximately one in four consumers.
Even though federal law prohibits their use, 55% were extremely or very concerned about hormone and steroid use in chicken production.
The survey commissioned by the National Chicken Council (NCC), was conducted online by ORC International June 22 – 24, 2015 among 1,019 adults.