Akshay Jagdale, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets, said that the demand for chicken meat is at its weakest levels in the restaurant and food industries, and at its strongest levels in grocery stores, the Washington Post reported.  

Mike Cockrell, chief financial officer at Sanderson Farms Inc., said that consumers are not eating out as much with high gas prices and poor economic conditions, which has meant less demand for the company's chicken at restaurants it supplies. According to Pilgrim's spokeswoman Margaret McDonald, demand for the company's chicken is not as weak at grocery stores as it is in restaurants, but it remains difficult for the company to build further at grocers due to high consumer chicken prices.


Jagdale anticipates that breast meat supply will need to be cut significantly in order for prices to rise in the restaurant and foodservice sector. However, he predicts retail chicken prices will likely remain high at grocery stores because demand is stronger here.