Consumer Habits in 2021

Wayne Farms

As we optimistically emerge from the pandemic, there is one big question that is on the minds of many owners and operators; what pandemic habits will stick with consumers this year and in years to come?

Three immediately come to mind in our industry: Budget, nutrition, and convenience.

Organic Chicken was all the rage a few years ago, but with grocery bills creeping up many began searching for the less pricey version of their favorite protein - and they liked what they saw. Ann Reus at says “consumers that choose to purchase NAE chicken are loyal to the label” and that is not surprising paired with Global Research’s findings that 60% of the worldwide population are purchasing brands and labels that they believe to be good for their health.

This year we are already seeing organic chicken making up a smaller portion of US chicken sales than No-Antibiotics-Ever (NAE) labels, and the focus will likely remain on what matters most when aiming for healthy budget friendly options - antibiotic free, humanely raised, all natural choices.

Choosing products for your business that are all-natural and antibiotic free are excellent choices this year as consumers continue to seek out the healthiest budget friendly options for their takeout, dine-in, and supermarket needs. Luckily, this can also prove to be budget friendly for your operation as well.

While budget and health are high ranking in consumer habits that we will see stick this year, another, arguably more obvious habit will continue: convenience.

With many returning to the workforce and even more ready to dine out again, convenience reigns true for us all from consumer to operators.

Poultry products that are marinated, grill-marked or otherwise fully cooked are selling at 2-3 times the rate of traditional ready-to-cook counterparts. Why? Two words—time and consistency. With a labor shortage already pinching the bottom line, prepared chicken products can save you time (and money), and produce a quality and consistent meal by reducing plate to plate inconsistencies.

Food safety is another pro in the fullycooked poultry segment; reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses such as salmonella and campylobacter from cross contamination, improper storage and preparation.

Wholesome and healthy, combined with convenience and versatility--poultry year 2021 is shaping up to be another great year for poultry products, and in-the-know operators have an opportunity to reduce their costs by offering the world's favorite protein… chicken.