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Roy Graber, staff reporter for WATTAgNet, combines his Midwestern farming background with his knowledge of economics and agriculture policy to offer a deeper look at the poultry and pig industries.
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Do we have a vow to not source slower-growing broilers?

Wing-Zone
Sonic and Peet's Coffee & Tea are pledging to source slower-growing broilers, while Wing Zone is announcing a move to serve bigger tenders and meatier wings. | GG, Freeimages.com

Change to bigger tenders and meatier wings is a deviation from transition so many other companies are announcing

August 10, 2017

During a time when foodservice companies and restaurant chains are pledging to source only chicken meat from slower-growing or smaller broiler breeds, one chain appears to be going the opposite direction.

In a press release issued on August 8, Wing Zone announced a “global brand refresh.” Core elements of that initiative are “Bigger Tenders, Better Boneless, Jumbo Wings.”

The release also states that Wing Zone will be using a “more premium chicken supplier in order to ensure meatier wings, bigger tenders and a tastier product.”

It seems highly unlikely that you can get meatier wings or bigger tenders if you use the slower-growing and smaller chicken breeds that are all a part of the latest trend of company purchase pledges. But Wing Zone does appear confident that this is the type of product that customers want.

Keeping promises

I read Wing Zone’s announcement on the same day that two other establishments that serve chicken made announcements that they were transitioning to slower-growing broilers. One was from Sonic, while the other was from Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Both companies set a goal to complete the transition by 2024.

But while both announcements were starkly different than the announcement from Wing Zone, there was also a very noticeable difference between the Sonic and Peet’s statements.

Sonic, which surely sources more chicken than Peet’s, took a realistic approach when it came to supply.

“The path to achieving those objectives is still in development and some of the required technology is not commercially available on a broad basis at this time. We are committed to working with our suppliers and other stakeholders to increase supplier availability and consumer affordability,” Sonic stated.

Peet’s meanwhile, stated: “The company guarantees that by 2024 they will solely buy chicken that is produced in alignment with” standards set by the Global Animal Partnership.

How do you guarantee to serve something when you don’t even know if will be available?

Sonic, meanwhile, only promised to put forth its best effort, while Wing Zone promised to serve larger chicken pieces, which are obviously available as it made such an arrangement with a supplier.

It will be interesting to see as time goes on how things will go for these three companies.

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