Find out more about organic, no-antibiotics-ever and conventional chicken markets
Consumers are increasingly purchasing organic and antibiotic-free chicken while also seeking value-added convenience products.
Chris DuBois, senior vice president, protein practice, IRI, said the organic chicken market will continue to grow in 2020.
“The biggest trend continues to be the … push on organic and NAE that continues to grow faster than the total category,” he said.
In dollar value over the past year, organic chicken grew 10%, while no-antibiotics-ever (NAE) chicken grew 1.7%, and conventional chicken only grew 0.1%, according to IRI’s data.
“It’s a little bit different when you go to volume, but it’s the same path – that organic is growing much faster,” he said.
In 2020, DuBois said, he expects the organic chicken sector to continue to grow, but said the segment’s growth will plateau in the coming years.
“There’s a natural ceiling for organic, though, and I would expect over the next five years we start to reach that ceiling,” he said. “Similar to what happened for NAE five years ago, where NAE now is hitting a ceiling and it’s beginning to plateau, I would expect organic as well.”
Keeping up with trends helps retailers grow
However, in the short term, DuBois said growth in demand for organic chicken will have an effect on retailers.
“Next year, I would continue to expect organic to continue to make push, and it will make a big difference in the meat case,” he said. “The retailers that get behind this and have changed their meat cases, they grow faster than retailers that don’t. Part of that is because consumers who shop those items tend to spend more in the store and that rewards every department in the store at some point. Those consumers tend to bring the dollars with them when they come to the store.”
DuBois also said those consumers are looking for convenience and value-added products when they shop.
“Value-added (chicken) meat has been growing about twice as fast as the category overall and it’s about 10% of the total meat case,” he said. “The whole push on value-added has been a big play.”
For a deep dive into IRI’s data on conventional, NAE and organic chicken across markets, register to see DuBois’ “What’s in the cart? A look at consumer poultry purchasing trends” presentation at the Feed Strategy Conference at IPPE 2020.