The COVID-19 pandemic turned the chicken supply chain upside down as foodservice outlets were closed and consumers relied on retailers, both online and brick and mortar, to supply almost all their food needs. Restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and ball parks are now opening back up to customers for in venue meals and snacks.

Which of the new shopping habits consumers developed during the pandemic will persist? Will topics like animal welfare and environmental sustainability come back as concerns for consumers, or will masks and hand sanitizer remain high on the list of concerns? What will the “next normal” look like and when can we expect it to develop?

The Chicken Marketing Summit has always been the place for to discuss questions like these and find answers, and this year’s Summit, July 18-20, comes just in time to plan your post-pandemic success.

Future opportunities

If 2020 hadn’t been the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it might have been remembered as the year of alternative proteins. Cell-cultured meat and plant-based meat alternatives have garnered huge investment capital and lots of favorable press. Kevin Ryan, CEO, Malachite Consulting, will put all of this activity into perspective as he presents on, The Future of Food: Keeping Chicken at the Center of the Plate.

COVID-19 hasn’t been the only pandemic impacting supply and demand for chicken, and there isn’t an effective vaccine to protect hogs from African Swine Fever. Will Sawyer, Lead Animal Protein Economist, CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange, will provide a global look at Animal Protein Demand Coming out of the Pandemics and provide insights on what global meat supplies are expected to be going into 2022. Jim Sumner, president, USAPEEC, will provide a Trade Outlook for U.S. chicken given the African Swine Fever situation and the trade policies of the Biden administration.


Plan your path for post-COVID-19 success as the Chicken Marketing Summit, register today.


Successful strategies

The entire U.S. food supply chain was stressed during the pandemic, but strategies emerged for embracing change and fast-forwarding online ordering, curbside pickup and contactless home delivery. Speakers will present on retail and foodservice strategies that succeeded during the pandemic and what they think will succeed post-pandemic.

Chris Dubois from IRI and Joyce Neth from WATT Global Media will provide an exclusive look at the results of the 2021 Chicken Consumption Survey. The survey is conducted just before the start of the Summit and will provide inside into what consumers are looking for in the post vaccination marketplace.

Advertisement

The Supply Chain Partners Panel features David Aldrich from Meijer, Keith Anderkin from Zaxby’s, Joe Schechinger from Wingstop and Mike Hacaga from Thrive Market. Ask the panelists your questions about how the pandemic impacted their business and what they are seeing and hearing from their customers as the pandemic wanes.

Old issues, new challenges

Sustainability in general and animal welfare, a component of sustainability, didn’t go away as issues during the pandemic, and expect them to move back to center stage as the pandemic wanes. Advocates of taking actions intended to slow or mitigate the effects of climate change are in power in Washington. ESG programs are now a standard expectation.

Ernie Mieier from McDonald’s USA will share how the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry & Eggs is bringing together poultry producers and integrators, allied industries, retail and food service companies, and NGOs to focus on sustainability throughout the poultry supply chain.

In the same way activist groups convinced retail and foodservice buyers to make future purchase pledges for cage-free eggs, the same groups are pushing schemes like GAP and the Better Chicken Commitment for chicken meat purchases. How the industry is Tackling the Broiler Welfare challenge will be discussed by Karen Christensen from Tyson and Mark Cooper from Cobb-Vantress. They will explain how third-party inspections and continuous improvement programs are bettering bird welfare outcomes and the research and selective breeding efforts that will continue to drive improvement.

Connecting with the post-pandemic consumer

Leah Beyer from Elanco will discuss how the online conversations about food changed during the pandemic and how our online messaging should change as consumers are vaccinated, entertainment venues and restaurants fully reopen and the pandemic subsides.

Hinda Mitchell from Inspire PR Group will share how all the challenges of 2020 reshaped the messaging companies used to try and stay connected with consumers. She will take a closer look at the successes and failures of last year and provide a go-forward communications approach to leverage the best learnings of the pandemic.