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Tapping into Today's Chicken Trends


Tapping into Today's Chicken Trends

As the consumer appetite for high quality, better-for-you proteins grows, foodservice operators are seeking new ways to please palates while incorporating menu transparency and better-for-you ingredients. By understanding the current culinary landscape, you can help your customers compete in a market where the demand for more authentic ingredients is increasingly dictating menu selections. 

Free-From & Organic Chicken

Fresh menu concepts leveraging premium chicken are the key to unlocking opportunity in the highly competitive quest to grab patrons’ attention and establish customer loyalty. According to Technomic, 56% of consumers thought premium poultry should be available at the restaurants they visit. And with 63% of patrons willing to pay more for premium poultry1, your operators can boost profits while satisfying patrons. Premium menu claims also help drive traffic and differentiate from competitors.1 Consumers want and are willing to pay more for menu items that are described as “hormone-free” (37%), “no preservatives”(37%) and “antibiotic-free” (36%). 2

In addition to “free-from” proteins, patrons are also seeking organic options, with the demand for organically produced goods showing double-digit growth in recent years.3 Additionally, organic uncooked chicken in foodservice is expected to grow 12% every year for the next five years.4 Restaurants around the country are taking notice and elevating their menu to include organic proteins. Burger Village, a family owned restaurant in New York, uses only 100% organic meat in their menu items, like the Village Chicken Sandwich, which features 100% organic, humanely raised chicken.

Twists on Traditional Favorites

New spins on old chicken favorites have been popping up on menus everywhere, especially within the fast casual segment. Creative takes on fried chicken sandwiches, Nashville hot chicken, rotisserie chicken, and chicken nuggets designed for grownup palates are appearing on a variety of menus across the country.5

Industry veteran Aaron Noveshen has developed a quick-service concept centered upon a “super-premium” menu that takes fried chicken tenders to a new level. Opening this year in Sunnyvale, CA, Starbird’s goal is to be super-premium, super-fast, and super-innovative with a diverse lineup that includes a signature Chicken & Egg breakfast sandwich stacked with fried chicken strips, an organic egg, organic American cheese, and bacon.6

Also, blazing a trail on the fast-casual fried chicken front is Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, who has filed a trademark application for “Chick’n Shack.” The incredibly popular Chick’n Shack™ is a crispy all-natural and antibiotic-free chicken breast with lettuce, pickles and buttermilk herb mayo. The sandwich was a success as soon as it debuted on the menu.

Perdue Foodservice offers operators many choices, which all feature our commitment to high quality and wholesomeness. Our lines include organic, No Antibiotics Ever and conventional protein offerings from leading brands such as Perdue® Harvestland® and Perdue®. Perdue® Turkey has recently been upgraded to No Antibiotics Ever, all-vegetarian fed turkey to fill the demand for cleaner ingredients and menu transparency.

1Technomic, “Consumer Attitudes Towards Value-Added Poultry in Foodservice,” October 2014

2Technomic, “The Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report,” 2014

3United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Organic Market Overview, April 2014

4Westport Consulting, Organic Chicken Category Report, May 2015

5Restaurant Hospitality, “Trendinista: Operators Eye Chicken As Next Fast Casual Growth Vehicle,” 2/22/16

6Restaurant Hospitality, “New Starbird Concept Aims to Improve on the QSR Experience,” 5/17/16