Consumer dialogue about chicken: His name was Colin

What are consumers thinking and saying about the chicken they eat? Chicken Marketing Seminar attendees watched a video skit that, while humorous, is uncomfortably true to life, according to a panel of speakers from supermarkets and restaurants.

The following dialogue about chicken would have seemed outrageous a few years ago, but food retailers are seeing questions like these from customers and clients.

“Perhaps not the entire dialogue from a single person, but bits and pieces of it from people wanting to know more about the product and asking us to provide the information,” said Michael Reinert, vice president supply management, Delaware North Companies.



Waitress appears:  Hello, guys. My name is Dana. I will be taking care of you today. If you have any questions about the menu, please let me know.

Woman:  Yes, I have a question about the chicken. If you could just tell us a little bit more about it?

Waitress:  The chicken is a heritage breed, woodland-raised chicken that has been fed a diet of sheep’s milk, soy and hazel nuts.

Man:  This is local?

Waitress:  Yes, absolutely.

Man:  Let me ask you just one more time – it is local?

Waitress:  It is.

Woman:  Is it USDA organic or Oregon organic or Portland organic?

Waitress:  It’s just all across the board organic.

Man:  The hazel nuts ... is it local?

Woman:  How big is the area where the chickens are able to roam free?

Man:  I’m sorry to interrupt, but I have exactly the same question.

Waitress:  Four acres.


Man:  I drove way too slow here tonight. Didn’t I?

Woman:  No.

Man:  I’m so weird with that gas pedal. It just moves the whole vehicle far down ...

Woman:  Right.

WAITRESS RETURNS:  So, here is the chicken that you will be enjoying tonight.

Man:  You have this for me ... this is fantastic.

Waitress:  Absolutely, his name was Colin.

Man:  He looks like a happy little guy who runs around. Did this chicken have friends? I mean, did he have his little wing around another one? I mean like palling around?

Waitress:  I don’t know that I can speak to that level of intimate knowledge about him. They do a lot to make sure that their chickens are very happy.

Woman:  When you say “they” ... I mean who are these people raising Colin?

Waitress:  It’s a farm. It’s located about 30 miles south of Portland.

Man:  ... and, and, and, and, and, and, and, would you have a good relationship with this farm?

Waitress:  We do.

Man:  He’s not some guy on a yacht who lives in Miami ...

Waitress:  Oh, goodness, no!

Man:  ... saying that he’s organic.

Woman:  It tears at the core of my being the idea of someone just cashing in on a trend like organic.

Waitress:  No ...

Man:  I tell you what. Can we check it out, if you don’t mind? If you could just hold our seats?

Waitress:  But ...

Woman:  Thank you so much, Dana.



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