November 15, 2018

Rosy results in Rotisserie Chicken are being held down by poor results in Fried Chicken—and both trends are intensifying in the most recent 13 weeks.

First, the good news. Rotisserie Chicken sales are up in every region of the country, though the slowest growth is happening in the West (+0.9%) with the South showing some VERY strong growth (+6.2%). The 52-week growth number for Rotisserie is 4.1%, showing more strength in the 13-week period (+5.1%). The results suggest that Rotisserie Chicken should stay strong and that awareness-driving tactics are likely to net additional sales WITHOUT price promotion. In-stock position to meet the demand will be critical.

 

Share of Super-Category Dollars
Total U.S.
Deli Prepared Chicken, 52 Weeks Ending 9/29/18

 

 

Share of Super-Category Volume
Total U.S.
Deli Prepared Chicken, 52 Weeks Ending 9/29/18

 

 

Share of Super-Category Dollars
Total U.S.
Deli Prepared Chicken, 13 Weeks Ending 9/29/18

 

 

Share of Super-Category Volume
Total U.S.
Deli Prepared Chicken, 13 Weeks Ending 9/29/18

 

 

And then…there’s Fried Chicken. Fried Chicken is down 4.3% in 52 weeks, showing an intensifying trend in the last 13 weeks of an alarming -7.3%. What is going on? Across the country and across retailers we are seeing a decline in Fried Chicken sales, mainly driven by 8-piece sales. Of all the retailers we track, only SIX showed increases in Fried Chicken sales. What’s going on here?

While we don’t have the definitive answer, we’ve got some anecdotal evidence pointing toward executional issues being the culprit rather than depressed consumer demand. We have seen efforts by several retailers to improve quality with closer attention to hold times and maintaining in-stock position. These retailers are seeing positive results. The bad news is that Fried Chicken sales are down—the good news is that those sales still seem to be available to the retailer. A little attention to operations and some awareness-driving tactics and we feel these numbers can be reversed quickly.

 

 

52 Week Dollar Growth by Region