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We’re Chicken Out of 2020: The Top Chicken Trends of 2020

2020 was a difficult year, to say the least. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look back and revel in some highlights! No matter how you socially distanced in response to COVID-19, it’s likely that these chicken trends played a role in your life in at least one way. So sit back, get out your favorite dipping sauce, and check out our top chicken trends of 2020.

Comfort Food Galore

When things get tough, break out the chicken noodle soup and chicken sandwiches.

According to GrubHub’s “Year in Food” report, this year has seen a gargantuan spike in mobile comfort food orders. The top trending dish of 2020? The spicy chicken sandwich! Chicken also took second and third place on the list with the chicken burrito bowl and fried chicken wings, respectively.

It’s no surprise the chicken sandwich was crowned king of 2020, considering all the crazy delicious recipes that came out in late 2019. I mean, just take one look at this gallery from NRN and your mouth is 100% going to be watering.

Wanting to make your own comfort food or looking to eat a bit healthier to even things out? Chicken is here for you. Just head on over to our online recipe book here.

Cooking Chicken from Home

If you are like the rest of us, chances are you’ve been doing quite a bit more cooking this year because of COVID-19. We’d also like to wager that you cooked quite a bit of chicken. The data says it’s true! According to Food and Wine, chicken was the most tweeted about food in the United States, making it the #1 quarantine food.” Survey research from the National Chicken Council confirms this stat, showing that three-quarters (75%) of Americans who eat any chicken say they prepare chicken at home at least once a week.

Need more proof about how much we loved chicken this year? IRI and 210 Analytics found that chicken sales have increased $1.3B in the first nine months of 2020 compared to that same time period in 2019.

Being such a versatile source of protein, it’s easy to understand why chicken was our go-to home cooked meal of the year. With the New York Times reporting that people are condensing their grocery lists as a result of the changing supermarket landscape and busier aisles, chicken remained on grocery lists because it fits so many different dishes and budgets. Plus, chicken is an excellent low-calorie and low-fat source of high-quality protein that provides important nutrients throughout our lives.

We’re More Conscious about How Dining Decisions Impact the Planet

As a result of COVID-19, it’s likely that you have been purchasing more food from your local grocery store. It also means you’ve probably spent more time thinking critically about how you choose the food you bring home to your family. According to research from 84.51°, 35% of grocery store shoppers agree that they’re more conscious of food waste since the beginning of the pandemic. This research shows that consumers are more interested than ever in how their food choices impact the environment.

“We've recently taken the entire farm solar. We put in a 122KW system just this past fall. So, my farm actually generates the same amount of power that it would use in the year.” Terry Baker, broiler chicken farmer from Delaware

Luckily, chicken is an excellent option for responsible consumers looking to limit their footprint. Chicken production has a smaller footprint than almost  any other animal agriculture industry, and continuous innovation of environmentally friendly-practices continues to ensure sustainability efforts are developed hand-in-hand with improvements in bird health and welfare.

Curious just how chicken farmers are adopting sustainability innovations in their daily operations? Be sure to watch our video, “What Sustainability Means to Chicken Farmers.

Our Love of Chicken Wings Has Only Grown

While Americans did a lot less flying this year, that doesn’t mean we ditched our wings… chicken wings, that is! CNN reported that shares of the popular wing restaurant, Wing Stop, jumped nearly 60 percent in 2020. Overall, wing stores have experienced a 25 percent boost in sales in the time period between March and September, compared to 2019. Americans just love their wings!

And you know what goes great with wings? CONDIMENTS! Based on Door Dash’s “Food Trends in 2020,” we know that ranch was 2020’s top condiment. Who can deny a classic? But you might be surprised to know that spicy mayo and hot mustard also made the Top 5.

So, how are you dipping your wings in 2021? Be sure to circle back with us this month when we release our annual Wing Report!

Caring for One Another <3

Always in style, being there for each other is the trend that truly captures the spirit of 2020. Last year, food industry employees, farmers and the chicken industry worked together to deliver nutritious meals to doorsteps and grocery aisles across the country in response to COVID-19. In fact, companies donated millions of servings of chicken to local and struggling communities.

Looking to learn more about how chicken is changing the world? Check out our blog on how the chicken industry is continuing to innovate to become more sustainable.