Turkey Consumption Edges Upward

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Turkey Consumption Edges Upward


According to new research from Mintel on the U.S. poultry market, sales of turkey, duck and other specialty birds grew a considerable 6.5 percent in one year, reaching $7.1 billion between 2011 and 2012.

Growing from $6 billion in 2008, other poultry products, largely consisting of turkey, grew the most in the category. More than eight in 10 (84 percent) Americans say they eat turkey; chicken is eaten by 94 percent, and other poultry, such as duck, goose and hen, are consumed by 23 percent of the population.

“The growth of other poultry products over 2011 and 2012 is partly attributed to the increasing popularity of Heritage turkeys, which are bigger, take longer to reach maturity, and sell for more than standard turkeys,” said John N. Frank, category manager for Mintel Food and Drink. “However, if other poultry products, like turkey, want to continue their impressive growth and not just be seen as the festive centerpiece, they will need to provide the level of innovation that is being seen in the chicken parts segment.”

Poultry in general might also start pulling in some consumers from the red meat market. Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) U.S. consumers say they have increased their consumption of poultry in the last year, peaking among younger adults, with 43 percent of those aged 18-24 eating more versus 36 percent of the most senior consumers ( aged 65+).

“As obesity rates in the US continue to be an issue, low-fat meal options such as white meat poultry should benefit from consumers who are looking for items that will help them maintain healthy weight,” Frank continued. “...preparing meals at home typically costs far less than eating out and the relative affordability of poultry items makes them an ideal meal option for consumers preparing meals at home.”

Frank further attributes increased poultry consumption among younger consumers to the fact that this group is “the least likely to possess cooking skills and therefore [is] likely finding value-added, ready-to-cook (seasoned, marinated) poultry products more convenient than ever.”

Moreover, ethnic consumers are a driving force behind the poultry market, with 73 percent of Asian or Pacific Islanders and 72 percent of Hispanic and Black consumers cooking chicken at home, as opposed to 62 percent of White consumers.

Mintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence.