The Definitive Guide to Evaluating Chicken Trends in the Foodservice Industry

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Evaluating Chicken Trends

Advancements in the technology and availability of data have allowed the foodservice industry to measure and predict food trends with greater accuracy than ever before. This has been especially true when it comes to chicken, one of the most popular types of meat in the United States. Franchisors and operators alike pay close attention to chicken trends, as they often dictate menu items and potentially influence franchise growth. Yet, assessing chicken trends is still a complex process that goes far beyond the analysis of current consumer preferences. Here, we explore the finer points of evaluating chicken trends in the foodservice industry.

Understanding the Legal Climate

Although consumer demand is a significant factor in foodservice trends, the legal climate of a location must also be taken into account. This is especially true for localized health and animal rights regulations, such as those imposed by state and local governments. Such laws can apply to food preparation, packaging and even the types of chicken meat available. Franchisors and operators should never make menu changes or location expansions without first assessing the relevant legal regulations.

Conducting Market Research

The first step in understanding chicken trends is to analyze consumer behavior and preferences. Market research is critical in this process, as it helps franchisors and operators identify the types of chicken that resonate with consumers and any regional distinctions in preferences. This can include evaluating menu reports, consumer surveys and restaurant industry reports. Additionally, franchisors or operators looking to expand into a new area should investigate the existing market and local competitors for valuable insight.

Identifying Preferred Types of Chicken

Different types of chicken can be categorized in terms of taste, portion size and value. Franchisors and operators should consider all of these categories when evaluating trends, as preferences in this area often vary across regions and can influence menu items. For instance, fried chicken is a popular regional option in some areas of the country, whereas grilled chicken is popular in others. Understanding the common preferences in flavoring, texture and preparation can help franchisors and operators understand what menu items to focus on when expanding.

Reassessing Resource Availability

Finally, franchisors and operators should also evaluate the availability of chicken resources when assessing trends. Particularly, they should consider the potential for long-term sustainability, as trends in this area are often affected by the availability of high-quality resources. The best way to assess available resources is to investigate the supplier networks and related pricing information in the desired area. Additionally, franchisors and operators may consider working with local farmers and co-ops, if they are available.

The essence

Evaluating chicken trends in the foodservice industry requires franchisors and operators to look beyond the data and explore the local legal climate, market research, types of chicken and resource availability. While there is no single “best” approach to assessing such trends, the topics mentioned herein can help any franchisor or operator gain a better understanding of their area’s chicken preferences.