3 big opportunities for chicken in 2024

How to keep chicken as the protein at the center of the plate.

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Raw Chicken Thighs On Parchment
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With inflation, labor shortages and feed costs above the historical norm challenging the chicken industry, it’s important to think about the opportunities that could increase demand.

“Over the last four or five years, we’ve gone through a period where we’ve used the word unprecedented a lot. What’s the path forward?” Brian Earnest, lead economist, animal protein, CoBank, said.

Earnest will discuss the trends most likely to affect future demand for chicken and the opportunities that could keep chicken as the protein at the center of the plate at the 2024 Chicken Marketing Summit.

Registration is now open with early savings available.

Ahead of the conference, Earnest shared his thoughts on three of the biggest opportunities for chicken right now.

1. Automation and other technology improve efficiency

Emerging technologies, including automation, could help counter some of the labor shortages that cause stress throughout the chicken supply chain. 

“Chicken production is very agile and it’s been very good at adapting technology and automation to combat some of the labor issues they face in the plant,” he explained.

2. The US has developed a taste for international flavors and dark meat

Over the past five to ten years, international flavors have become more popular with Americans. This is largely due to a surging interest in new recipes by millennials and Generation Z. Many of these international flavors complement chicken well, setting the protein up for success.

In addition, while most consumers have traditionally gravitated toward white meat, that is now changing, said Earnest.

“Exports have historically been a major disappearance outlet for dark meat historically and while that probably still holds true, I think it pairs well with that conversation about technology where increased adoption of automated deboning for thighs or leg quarters helps,” he added.

3. Chicken is the value protein

Consumers are still worried about high prices, with 64% predicting that the cost of food will continue to go up in the next year, according to a recent study from Purdue University. As a result, consumers are thinking carefully about their food purchases and budgets to save money.

“I think chicken as an opportunity to present itself as the value offering for the consumer this year,” explained Earnest.

Attend the 2024 Chicken Marketing Summit

Make plans to attend the 2024 Chicken Marketing Summit at the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Birmingham, Alabama, on July 29-31, 2024. This one-of-a-kind event will look forward to the consumer of 2035 and the issues that will impact their protein choices.

For the first time, the Summit will have two content tracks. As always, one track will focus on consumer trends of today and what will be expected in 2035 and how advancing digital technology will impact how chicken will be sold and marketed in the future. The second content track will explore how the industry will meet consumer expectations by adapting new and existing technologies to raise and process broilers utilizing fewer resources and with improved welfare, food safety and convenience.

Submit your free nomination for Chicken Marketer of the Year.

Registration is now open for the Chicken Marketing Summit with early savings available.


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