As chicken consumers have become more socially conscious, they are also increasingly more concerned about how the companies that produce their food treat the people who helped bring it to their plate.

Elizabeth Ehrhardt, principal, client insights, IRI, said at the 2017 Chicken Marketing Summit on July 17 that fair food and fair wages are “social sentiment drivers,” which influence consumer purchasing behavior. The summit is being held in Asheville, North Carolina.

“Consumers now are not just thinking about themselves,” Ehrhardt said during her presentation. “They are not just thinking about the animals themselves. They are thinking about the workers who are bringing that food to their table.”

Infographic: Consumers report chicken purchase patterns 

Poultry consumers pay attention to everything from the working conditions for the employees, to their pay levels, to their training. Fair treatment of immigrant workers is also a subject of growing importance to consumers.


A study Ehrhardt mentioned backs up her assessment. “People are really looking at that,” she said. “It is showing up in the dollar sales, too.”

A case study was done of one company that was publicizing how they were treating their workers, and company sales increased by 26 percent, she said.

“We know this really makes a difference to consumers, and they’re looking for the highest good in what they’re producing,” said Ehrhardt.

Chicken Marketing Summit 2018

Chicken Marketing Summit uniquely explores issues and trends in food marketing and consumer chicken consumption patterns and purchasing behavior. In addition to educational sessions, attendees have numerous networking opportunities to foster interaction between speakers and fellow poultry industry peers. Chicken Marketing Summit 2018 will take place at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA on July 22 -24, 2018.