Chicken gains major foodservice market share over beef

A lowered beef supply provides an opportunity for chicken.

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The chicken sandwich wars have dominated foodservice sales over the past few years. Chicken dominance in the foodservice market is expected to continue.

“The chicken industry is extremely well positioned to benefit from what’s going on in the beef industry over the next 12 to 24 months,” David Maloni, foodservice supply chain analyst and president of Datum FS, said at the 2023 Chicken Marketing Summit.

Where’s the beef?

Several factors have negatively impacted beef supply over the past few years, including drought and poor margins. These impacts are expected to last, especially since the turnaround cycle for cattle is much longer than with poultry.

The cost to produce hamburger rose 39% from 2019 to 2023, with a 6% increase predicted for 2024. Comparatively, boneless skinless chicken breast, chicken wings and chicken tenderloins gained 19%, 43% and 4% comparatively.

Put together, this represents a tremendous opportunity for chicken to gain further protein market share in foodservice, explained Maloni.

How labor shortages will affect chicken offerings

Labor shortages will also be an issue that the foodservice industry will continue to grapple with, Maloni said.

This could mean that foodservice will move toward more precooked or pre-marinated chicken options to streamline menus and become less labor intensive.

Attend the 2024 Chicken Marketing Summit

The 2024 Chicken Marketing Summit will be held at the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Birmingham, Alabama, on July 29-31, 2024.

Serving a unique cross section of the chicken supply chain, the Chicken Marketing Summit explores issues and trends in food marketing and consumer chicken consumption patterns and purchasing behavior. 

Registration will open in early 2024.

For more information, visit:

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