Chicken strip volumes are soaring at foodservice outlets while servings of nuggets are down, but it’s no the cause customers are swapping one item for the other, according to research from the NPD Group.
Servings of chicken strips at restaurants and foodservice outlets jumped by 16 percent in the quarter ended in September, compared to a year ago, while chicken nugget servings declined by 3 percent, NPD said.
Using a receipt mining service, NPD determined that the two breaded chicken items appeal to different buyers,and the lost nugget sales were not the result of previous nugget fans switching to strips.
Instead, the surge in sales of strips is the result of product innovation at quick-service restaurants and new fast-casual concepts built around chicken strips.
Innovative restaurant operators have taken a longtime favorite food and elevated the offering.
Nuggets still lead strips in overall sales, at 2.3 billion servings ordered in the year ended in September vs. 1.5 billion orders of chicken strips. Overall pounds of chicken shipped by broad line distributors to independent and small chain restaurants and other foodservice outlets increased by 4 percent in the period, compared to last year.
Source: meatingplace.com, 12-12-18