Study examines poultry-purchasing trends at retail

by Bryan Salvage
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LOUISVILLE, Colo. – With 53% of consumers eating chicken more than four times a week, chicken remains a staple in the American consumer diet, according to a recent study of retail consumers conducted by Market Force Information, a leader in customer intelligence and customer experience management solutions.

The study focused determining what role chicken plays in consumer diets; what drives chicken purchase at point of sale; and the potential impact of organic chicken.

Some findings from the May/June survey include: 

  • Eighty-three percent of consumers have purchased fresh chicken in the past 60 days.
  • Eighty-six percent buy fresh chicken from the meat dept at the grocery; 53% buy rotisserie chicken; and 53% buy frozen chicken.
  • Only 21% said they had tried a new fresh chicken product in the past 60 days. New recipes, store displays and coupons drove new trials.
  • Fifty-three percent said individual packages that are vacuum-packed (allowing consumers to keep fresh only the portion needed and easily freeze the rest in small portion sizes) would interest them. A mere 12% indicated that chicken with added ingredients that increase the nutritional value would be of interest.
  • Forty-one percent said they specify the type of chicken product they want to buy when writing out their grocery list, and 78% added a chicken item to their list because of a promotion or coupon.
  • Thirty-five percent do not have a favorite brand and only 18% indicated that brand was "very important"
  • What drives purchase at the point-of-sale? The quality and appearance of the chicken, the most important attribute at 45%. The least important was "ingredients listed on labels".
  • Consumers indicated what information they wanted on fresh chicken labels and the number-one answer was "farm/country of origin/processing" with 38%. Only 10% indicated they couldn’t find the information they need on the packaging.
  • When it comes to organic chicken, less than one-quarter of consumers are purchasing organic chicken even occasionally. More than 40% don’t think it’s worth the extra cost and another 40% believe there are no nutritional benefits.
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