Chicken promotions soar as meat prices skyrocket

Chicken is becoming a consumer favorite at the supermarket because of its price - ConsumerAffairs

More variety in packaging available than ever before

The proverbial chicken has come home to roost … in the bargain aisle at the grocery.

With inflation continuing to impact shoppers' wallets and people avoiding beef for fear of the bird flu, chicken has emerged as a popular and affordable protein option. Recent price decreases have further fueled this trend, prompting grocers to spotlight a wide range of chicken-based meals.

The Consumer Price Index showed prices for fresh and frozen chicken down more than 1% from March to April. Meantime, fresh whole chicken prices were flat, when they were going up at the beginning of the year. 

However, the real bargain version of the bird, according to GroceryDive, is processed chicken which experienced a more significant drop of roughly 3%, averaging $6.72 per pound.

Grocers get creative with chicken promotions

When consumers zig-zag, grocers don’t waste any time employing various strategies to capitalize on the demand for a product. They certainly are with chicken.

Some, like Harris Teeter and Whole Foods Market, offer special discounts on specific days of the week. Harris Teeter's limited-time $5 prepared food deals include eight pieces of fried or baked chicken on Thursdays, while Whole Foods Market offers Prime members $2 off rotisserie chickens on Tuesdays. The Fresh Market has a similar deal on Thursdays.

Loyalty programs are also used to attract chicken enthusiasts. For example, customers can redeem points for discounted rotisserie chickens through Giant Food's program.

Meal deals and restaurant-inspired options

Grocers are drawing inspiration from restaurants to offer convenient and appealing chicken-based meals.

“Why go to KFC or Popeyes when there are fried chicken meal options at the grocery store,” asks GroceryDive’s Catherine Douglas Moran. “Publix’s deli aisle has a meal deal for under $10 that includes five fried chicken wings, choice of two sides and choice of either cornbread or King’s Hawaiian rolls.” Target is also doing something similar.

New focus on packaging and innovation

Packaging creativity is also getting a fresh coat of promotional paint. More and more grocers are stocking various pack sizes, offering variety packs, and providing freezer-ready packaging. They’re also taking a new look at generational preferences and offer millennials fresh chicken and the Gen Z’ers more in the way of store brands.

The deli aisle is a place where innovation is key. And who better to lead that move than the two biggest grocers?

Publix now sells hot honey chicken tenders, while Kroger's Home Chef brand offers various flavored chicken wings. Sprouts Farmers Market has also garnered some attention with its $5 deli sandwiches, highlighting the importance of competitive pricing.

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