CHICAGO – In a recent consumer poll conducted by Technomic, consumers said they eat chicken more frequently than any other type of meat. But they added opportunities still exist for new poultry applications – particularly at breakfast.

Twenty-five percent of chicken consumers said they would very likely order chicken breakfast sandwiches at restaurants if available. Twenty-nine percent of turkey-eating consumers said they would likely order breakfast sandwiches or burritos featuring turkey sausage or bacon.

Poultry is a very versatile protein that can be positioned in many ways for different day parts, said Darren Tristano Technomic executive vice president. “We’ve seen an increase in the number of turkey items on breakfast menus, and also some high-profile additions of chicken items at breakfast,” he added. “If you look at consumers who eat turkey at least occasionally, 22 percent say they are eating it more now for breakfast than they were two years ago, so there is clearly an opportunity.”

Technomic has published its Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report to help food industry professionals stay abreast of current issues and evolving consumer need-states in the poultry category. Findings include:

  • Poultry attributes related to fat content resonate most strongly with consumers as an indicator of healthfulness, and call-outs related to natural processing — especially those that state a lack of additives, such as steroids or hormones — are most likely to increase consumer price thresholds.

  • Regarding chicken, limited-service menus put barbecue flavored sandwiches at the forefront, while garlic is the top flavor for full-service chicken entrées.

  • Humane animal treatment and environmentally sound practices are increasingly important to consumers. More than 50 percent indicate both of those items as important to them.

  • Since 2008, both limited- and full-service restaurants have increased their use of turkey on the breakfast menu, positioning turkey sausage and bacon as a lighter, more healthful alternative to pork.