To­day in the USA

Chicken in de­mand

The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS -

Chicken con­sump­tion sky high

The amount of chicken eaten in the US re­mains high, with more eaten in 2016 than that recorded in the pre­vi­ous two years. The US Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture es­ti­mates that Amer­i­cans will eat a record 41.7 kilo­grams of chicken per per­son this year.

Re­search pre­sented at the 2016 Chicken Mar­ket­ing Sum­mit re­vealed that 87% of con­sumers ate a chicken meal or snack bought from a su­per­mar­ket, while 72% ate a chicken meal or snack from a food ser­vice es­tab­lish­ment. While su­per­mar­ket numbers in­creased 2.4% and are now at equal to those of 2015, food ser­vice es­tab­lish­ment con­sump­tion shows a healthy 7.5% rise over the pre­vi­ous year.

"Peo­ple are buy­ing more chicken than last year and plan to buy more next year," said Tom Su­per of the Na­tional Chicken Coun­cil. "Chicken tops the list of pro­tein be­ing con­sumed most of­ten per week. And while re­tail sales con­tinue to be strong, the sur­vey shows that more peo­ple are eat­ing chicken away from home, which is good news for chicken pro­duc­ers, food ser­vice es­tab­lish­ments and the over­all econ­omy."¡

Big de­mand for ' qual­ity' meat

Arise in de­mand for its pre­mium food prod­ucts, in­clud­ing an­tibi­otic-free qual­ity meat, has led to Joyce Farms an­nounce plans for an­other ware­house and chicken hatch­ery.

A new ware­house will be at­tached to its pro­cess­ing plant, de­vel­op­ments that will make for a more ver­ti­cally in­te­grated and stream­lined op­er­a­tion.

The com­pany said it is mov­ing back to tra­di­tional farm­ing meth­ods and dein­dus­tri­alised meat pro­cess­ing.

Ron Joyce, CEO of Joyce Farms, said the com­pany has seen grow­ing de­mand over the last three years.

"We've seen in­creased de­mand for our pas­ture-raised, her­itage prod­ucts like our slow grow­ing chick­ens, one of the slow­est grow­ing chick­ens in the US," he said.¡

Sales drop at Pil­grim's Pride

Ma­jor poultry pro­ducer Pil­grim's Pride has re­ported a de­cline in sales and a lower mar­gin for the sec­ond quar­ter of the year. Sales for the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod the year be­fore fell by 1,2% to US$2.04 bil­lion while op­er­at­ing in­come fell by al­most US$142 mil­lion to US$236.6 mil­lion - a 37.5% drop year on year.

CEO, Bill Lovette, said fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment to en­ter into or­ganic fresh chicken, the com­pany in­tends launch­ing "veg-fed" ar­ti­sanal chicken sausages to bet­ter res­onate with con­sumer pref­er­ences for more nat­u­ral prod­ucts.

"Th­ese prod­ucts will be fully cooked and min­i­mally pro­cessed us­ing all nat­u­ral and no ar­ti­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents or ni­trites," he said.¡

In­dia wor­ried over US im­ports

In­dia's Poultry Fed­er­a­tion has called on its gov­ern­ment to im­pose a sub­stan­tial cus­toms duty on chicken im­ports from the US, say­ing pro­duc­ers faced clo­sure and jobs would be lost if tar­iff bar­ri­ers were not raised.

Eerily sim­i­lar to South Africa's re­sponse to US im­ports, the Poultry Fed­er­a­tion's pres­i­dent, Ramesh Chan­der, said the landed cost of US chicken legs is ex­pected to be $2 per kilo­gram and sold at around $2.40 per kilo­gram - al­most the same as lo­cally pro­duced items.

"We won't be able to com­pete with im­ported prod­ucts on cost and can only sur­vive if im­port vol­umes are lim­ited," said Sa­guna Foods' Sar­vana Peru­mal.¡

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