The expanding market for slow-growing broilers
Slow-growing Label Rouge broilers are entrenched in France, and the UK’s welfare-approved flocks are gaining market share, but the Netherlands’ slower-growing chickens dominate the fresh retail market.
Slow-growing broilers will hold 90 percent of the fresh retail market for chicken in the Netherlands by the end of 2016, and the switch from conventional broilers to slower-growing chickens has been dramatic and swift – occurring in less than three years.
Speaking at the 2016 National Chicken Council Chicken Marketing Summit, Claude Toudic, technical manager, Hubbard France, said that by 2020 all chicken meat sold in retail grocery stores in the Netherlands will be from slower-growing production schemes.
Already in 2016, between 25 percent and 30 percent of all Dutch broiler production is in slower-growing breeds and regimens, he said. The total share is offset to some degree by the fact that a large portion of the country’s broiler production is exported. The Netherlands is almost 200 percent self-sufficient for broiler meat.
The UK market is sensitive to both animal welfare and price concerns. The long-term trend is for increased shares for slower growing breeds.
About 15 percent of broilers slaughtered in France are slow-growing Label Rouge breeds. Growth in the sector has plateaued since 2000 as consumers demand more cut-up chicken.
Market segments for slow-growing chicken
With the Dutch market’s switch from conventional broilers on fresh shelves for both dressed carcasses and cut-up chicken parts – and a lack of interest for the free range concept – Toudic said the market is now split in three segments:
- Chicken of Tomorrow (COT) and New Standard Chicken (New STD) – 70 percent retail share – were introduced in…