January 15, 2018

Rotisserie Chicken and Fried Chicken represent the two center-of-the-plate workhorses of the supermarket prepared foods world, together comprising around 58% of the dollar sales in the prepared chicken category.

The biggest problem with that dominant share of the category is that they are down in sales over the last 52 weeks vs prior year. That's bad news.

But the Prepared Chicken category is still up 1.4% for the year, even with 58% of the lagging last year. What's going on?

Share of Super-Category Dollars
Total U.S.
Deli Prepared Chicken, 52 Weeks Ending 10/28/17

 

 

Share of Super-Category Volume
Total U.S.
Deli Prepared Chicken, 52 Weeks Ending 10/28/17

 

 

A Closer Look 

Take a look at Chicken Meals/Combos/Dinners. 7.1% of total category sales are up 10.6% over prior 52 weeks. Some of the "decline" we're observing in rotisserie and fried is really a reclassification of some of those sales into the meals category. Retailers continue to find ways to put together meals for their shoppers—thinking past the thing-in-a-box (rotisserie chicken) and helping the shopper with the solution they are really seeking: DINNER. These meal solutions can be as simple as sides, rolls, and a beverage or they can be something more complex. Bundling with value pricing makes life easier for shoppers and delivers them additional value. They can be pre-packaged into a container or merchandised together with a variety of options to choose from.

We've taken a consistent stand on the need for retailers and suppliers alike to be shopper-centric and meal-centric. Retailers across the country who are focusing on being meal-centric are seeing the concept pay off: meals that deliver a higher ring are increasing and overall category sales are continuing to grow. That's the good news. Ready for the more good news?

Share of Super-Category Dollars
Total U.S.
Deli Prepared Chicken, 13 Weeks Ending 10/28/17

 

 

Share of Super-Category Volume
Total U.S.
Deli Prepared Chicken, 13 Weeks Ending 10/28/17

 

 

Get Meal-Centric

As an industry we can do far better than 1.4% growth in the prepared chicken category that we're currently experiencing. And we know exactly how—become better at being meal-centric. We know meal-centric works—the numbers show it. How do we make the meals better? Availability—be in stock at peak times. Quality—make sure product is at peak quality during peak demand. Freshness—tap into your produce department to offer vegetables and fruits that bring bright colors, fresh tastes, and variety.

Tell 'em it's there. Digital and social outside the store, in-store communication. Show them how good and fresh a supermarket prepared foods meal can be. Make them want it. Educate them and inspire them.

The strategy is working today when we could get so very much better at it, resulting in higher sales, greater shopper satisfaction, and increased shopper loyalty. And a lot of pride in helping our shoppers provide their loved ones with food they're proud to serve.

That IS good news.

 

 

52 Week Dollar Growth by Region