GREENSBORO, Ga. – Consumers crave meals and snacks containing chicken as an ingredient, according to National Chicken Council (NCC) research. The group presented its findings during NCC's Chicken Marketing Seminar in Greensboro, Ga. NCC commissioned the online survey, which PKS Research Partners conducted online May 29 through June 1.

Consumers surveyed said they ate an average of 6.1 of meals or snacks containing chicken in the two weeks before the survey. This represents a 17 percent increase from 5.2 percent from findings in 2012. Additionally, Millennials, ages 18 to 34, were most likely to eat meals or snacks containing chicken.

Thirty-four percent of respondents cited health/nutrition as the primary driver of their choice to eat more chicken followed by taste (32 percent). However, price was mentioned by only 17 percent of respondents as the primary reason for eating more chicken.

"With the tight supplies in the cattle and hog herds, and accompanying record beef and pork prices, it's not surprising to see a double digit increase in chicken consumption this year," said Tom Super, NCC vice president of communications. "What is surprising to me is that health and nutrition and taste both topped cost as the reason consumers are turning more to the original white meat."

The survey also revealed that 20 percent of respondents were more likely to buy more chicken while dining out, and 25 percent of respondents are eating more chicken out of health concerns. Additional highlights of the survey research include:

• Chicken consumption does not differ significantly by gender.
• Midwesterners ate the lowest number of meals or snacks that contained chicken in the two week period prior to the survey. It is the only region where the rate of consumption did not increase since 2012.
• Men, younger adults and those with at least three people in the household are more likely than counterparts in increase their consumption of chicken.