It’s no secret that inflation has trickled into every aspect of American life, and no one is immune. Whether you’re a grocer, a restaurateur, or an average consumer just picking up something tasty to put on the home grill, you’ve felt the impact of higher protein prices.
It’s time to rethink chicken’s value and the role it plays on our menus as high prices remain in our future, and the silver lining here is that chicken is versatile and budget-friendly for home chefs and operators alike. Even with price increases, pound for pound, chicken is the value leader, and the fact that it remains America’s favorite protein for both home and out-of-home consumption says volumes about its popularity as an ingredient or center-of-plate.
With chicken reigning as the most consumed meat worldwide, the name of the game is less about converting people to poultry products in general and more about converting people to your poultry products or menu items by providing the best flavors and value. To this end, flavor innovation will become increasingly important for the remainder of this year.
MarketWatch recently reported on Chicken Flavor Market Opportunities and predicted the global chicken flavor market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.4% over the next few years.
In this brave new marketplace, operators with reduced staffing are always looking for ways to offer flavorful and innovative menu items. Here’s an easy idea that goes right to the bottom line—go with marinated or pre-seasoned poultry products to save time, the most expensive ingredient an operator can still control. That means fewer menu price hikes and happier consumers. International flavors are dominating menus across the US: Caribbean, Polynesian, and Korean-inspired flavors are among the top trends, and, of course, anything spicy, from gochujang to Nashville hot, is among the most popular flavors this year. Dry-rub, brine, inject, or marinade—but whatever you do, bring out the zing with new flavor-forward recipes to make your chicken dinner a real winner.
In addition to saving time with pre-flavored varieties, operators can purchase whole chickens or find savings by negotiating with their suppliers on dark meat cuts rather than paying higher prices for breasts or wing pieces alone. For consumers, whole chickens and dark meat cuts remain a more affordable protein choice compared to other popular protein cuts, and when you choose to cook with chicken, you’re choosing a more versatile meat with a mild flavor that can find a spot on nearly any menu item.
Incorporating pre-prepped or fully-cooked chicken products into your kitchen can help to improve efficiency by shortening kitchen time, eliminating quality issues, and lowering the risk of food-borne illnesses from cross contamination.
So, there you have it. Choosing chicken means better flavors and lower prices – winner winner chicken dinner!