Nine in 10 US consumers (92%) buy chicken regularly, with consumption figures for 2016 surpassing those from the last two years, according to the US’ National Chicken Council. Generation X consumes roughly 35% of US chicken, while the two most popular socio-economic groups for chicken are the most divided: households with a less than $35,000 household income and homes at the other end of the wealth scale with a $100,000 household income consume the most chicken, with 24% and 26% respectively.
Households with an income of between $35-$55,000 consumed the least poultry with an 11% penetration.
“People are buying more chicken than last year and plan to buy more next year,” said Tom Super, senior vice-president of communications at the National Chicken Council. “Chicken tops the list of protein being consumed most often per week. And while retail sales continue to be strong, the survey shows that more people are eating chicken away from home, which is good news for chicken producers, foodservice establishments and the overall economy.”
Food safety concerns
Among gender, total chicken consumption is split 50/50 between males and females.
National Chicken Council’s report on poultry eating trends is based on a survey completed by 1,017 adults from across different demographics and is believed to be representative of the US as a whole.
It shows that America’s appetite for poultry shows no signs of abating, with one in five consumers expecting to eat more chicken from the supermarket and 14% eating more poultry from foodservice.
However, seven in 10 consumers were found to be “very concerned” about food safety issues such as salmonella, E.coli and campylobacter. More than half were also worried about the use of growth-promoting drugs to enhance animals, despite the fact steroid use is banned under US law.
Less than 20% said they were worried by the fact that – thanks to advancements in genetic enchantment – it took less time to raise a chicken than in the past.