NCC Issues US Chicken Consumption Report

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Chicken consumption in the United States remains high in 2015 in the two primary purchase channels, supermarket and foodservice outlets, according to new research presented on July 13 during the 2015 Chicken Marketing Seminar held on Amelia Island, Florida.

Eighty-five percent of consumers ate a chicken meal or snack purchased from a supermarket and 67% consumed a chicken meal or snack from a foodservice establishment in the two-week period prior to taking the survey.  These numbers are at parity with those seen in 2014.

The survey was commissioned was by the Washington, DC-headquartered National Chicken Council (NCC) and conducted online by ORC International from June 22-24, 2015, among 1,019 adults.

“Chicken remains America’s favorite protein and consumers’ affinity for it shows no signs of waning,” said Tom Super, NCC’s senior vice president of communications.  “This latest data confirms that, but it also presents some opportunities and challenges in the year ahead.”

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In the next 12 months, 23% of consumers anticipate eating more chicken from the supermarket and 14% figure on eating more purchased from a foodservice establishment.

Those with the highest consumption levels tend to skew younger and are more ethnically diverse, with larger households.  Noteworthy also is that consumer purchase is highest in the US Northeast, Midwest and South.

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 purchase decision making.

Consumers were also prompted to see if various claims would increase, decrease, or have no effect on their likelihood to buy chicken products.  Though all tested claims pique purchase interest, consumers said they are most interested in knowing if the product was locally raised.

While 29% of those surveyed expressed no issues about purchasing chicken, concerns regarding product freshness and health/safety are top of mind for approximately one in four consumers.

Eighty percent of those surveyed stated that they would seek out information to assuage their chicken concerns.  Consumers are most likely to use the USDA website or a brand/company website to find more information about the chicken they buy.

Even though federal law prohibits their use, 55% of survey respondents were extremely or very concerned about hormone and steroid use in chicken production.