Chick-fil-A announced on September 12 that its goal to serve “No Antibiotics Ever” chicken (also known as “NAE”) in its 2,400-plus restaurants in the United States by the end of 2019 has been reached ahead of schedule. Starting in October, packaging will reflect this achievement.
In 2014 the College Park, Georgia-headquartered company announced it was pursuing a commitment to serve only chicken raised with No Antibiotics Ever nationwide within five years. Along with supply partners, Chick-fil-A met the milestone early and began exclusively serving No Antibiotics Ever chicken at all of its restaurants in the United States in May.
The NAE commitment allows no antibiotics of any kind to be administered to chicken within its supply chain, starting from the egg. The United States Department of Agriculture audits and verifies that suppliers are in compliance of strict the requirements of Chick-fil-A.
“We know consumers care about how their food is made and where it comes from, including the use of antibiotics. Because it was important to our customers, it was important to us,” said Matt Abercrombie, director of menu and packaging.
The transition to No Antibiotics Ever chicken has required a significant investment by Chick-fil-A and its vendors.
“As leaders in the chicken industry, we felt that if anyone was going to commit to No Antibiotics Ever, it should be us. We worked with our suppliers to convert our chicken supply, which was an industry-changing move, as the supply of No Antibiotics Ever chicken previously did not exist to match our scale,” said Abercrombie.
Chick-fil-A is the largest quick service restaurant franchise to implement NAE chicken across all restaurants in the USA, and research reveals that customers were eager for this transition. A 2018 survey by Datassential shows that 50% of consumers surveyed say they would be more likely to buy, and an additional 31% said they would even pay more for No Antibiotics Ever chicken.
The Atlanta, Georgia-headquartered company reported more than $10 billion in revenue in 2018, which marks 51 consecutive years of sales growth. Founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy and evolving to become a leader in customer service satisfaction, consumers voted Chick-fil-A, Inc. #4 in Harris Poll’s annual corporate reputation survey, ranking the company fourth out of 100 in 2018.