At home, poultry holds the honor of being the most consumed protein, driven by chicken. Weekly consumption of chicken clenches 88 percent penetration, according to Chicago-based Mintel International’s Poultry U.S. report published in November 2017. At foodservice, 30 percent of consumers eat chicken at fast-food restaurants at least once a week, up from 22 percent in 2015, according to Chicago-based Technomic’s 2017 Poultry Consumer Trend Report. In addition, 24 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds order chicken from fast-food burger restaurants more often now than two years ago.
Overall, the meat department is still struggling with deflation, and as a result dollars remain flat, reports Chicago-based Nielsen FreshFacts for the total U.S. during the latest 52 weeks ending September 30, 2017. Chicken is up 2 percent in dollars, yet flat from a volume standpoint driven by sluggish chicken breast volume, says Sarah Schmansky, Nielsen Perishables Group’s director. Chicken thighs, wings, ground chicken and value-added varieties kept performance to minimal declines though, she says.