CHICAGO — New Mintel statistics show turkey sales taking flight along with duck and other specialty birds.
According to figures released last week by the research firm, sales of those birds grew 6.5% just in the last year, reaching $7.1 billion.
Indeed, the whole poultry category has grown steadily and will continue to do so, according to Mintel.
The poultry market is set to grow steadily if not dramatically between 2012 and 2017, rising from $29.9 billion in total retail sales to $34.7 billion, and driven by an increase in per capita poultry consumption that the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports will slightly outpace that of per capita red meat consumption, the Mintel report states.
Read more: Specialty Turkeys Gain Shelf Space 
Sales of refrigerated and frozen whole chickens rose 0.6% in 2012 to $5.5 billion, and sales of chicken parts rose 4.6% in 2012 to $17.3 billion, researchers said.
A survey conducted by Mintel indicates a continued trend of people to cooking at home. Nearly two-thirds of respondents in the firm’s survey said they frequently eat fresh or frozen whole chickens, cooked at home, while more than four in 10 said they frequently eat portioned chicken at home.
The survey also reveals that close to four in 10 respondents who personally eat poultry or meat report eating more poultry in the last year, corroborating USDA findings that per capita consumption is increasing.
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Approximately half of those surveyed who eat poultry or meat agree that poultry is economical, and approximately half say that poultry is a good value for the money. While these are positive results for the industry, marketers still can do more to convince consumers that their brands are good values, Mintel’s summary states.
When asked by Mintel what types of poultry/meat they always/usually buy, respondents report the most likelihood to say premium quality (23%), followed by U.S.-sourced (21%), all natural (18%), no additives/preservatives (17%) and low/no/reduced fat (16%).
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